Spikers’ Turf: Imus drops Army to improve to 5-1
MANILA, Philippines–Imus leaned on Hero Austria and Kim Malabunga to fend off Army 25-18, 25-14, 23-25, 25-18, and stay within striking distance of the unbeaten Cignal in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference on Wednesday at Paco Arena.
The AJAA Spikers drew 14 points and 20 excellent receptions from Hero Austria and 12 hits from Kim Malabunga while Ish Polvorosa anchored their offense with 18 excellent sets in their third straight win for a 5-1 record.
The AJAA Spikers failed to finish off the Troopers in straight sets as Antonio Torres scored a crucial block on Ridzuan Muhali that moved Army at set point, 24-22, in the third. Ronniel Rosales countered with a quick hit but the Troopers foiled them with another rejection to live another set.
Imus, however, regrouped and re-asserted its might in the next frame, taking control midway through on its way to a seven-point romp.
“The players still can’t get rid of the complacency, no matter how many times I remind them against it,” said Imus-ITP head coach Sammy Acaylar in Filipino.
“It was a good thing we were able to recover in the fourth set, but we have to address our problem. We have to train not only physically, not only emotionally, but also mentally,” he added.
Mark Enciso and Benjaylo Labide scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Troopers, who dropped to 2-4 halfway through the single-round elimination among 11 teams.
Cignal is still in the lead with a 5-0 card.