Spikers' Turf: Criss Cross recover from slow start to upend Navy

Spikers’ Turf: Criss Cross recover from slow start to upend Navy

/ 11:49 PM April 19, 2024

Criss Cross King Crunchers celebrate a point in a Spikers' Turf Open Conference game

Criss Cross King Crunchers celebrate a point in a Spikers’ Turf Open Conference game. –PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Criss Cross needed to overcome a slow start before regaining its winning ways with a 19-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19 victory over PGJC-Navy in the 2024 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference on Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Licking the wounds from their five-set collapse to defending champion Cignal last Sunday, the King Crunchers continued to struggle after dropping the opening set to the Sealions.


Substitute setter Geuel Asia spelled the difference when he entered in the second and provided 21 excellent sets on top of four points, as five Criss Cross players scored at least seven points.


SCHEDULE: 2024 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference

“From the bench, we saw what we can do to help the team. We followed our coaches and fed our teammates inside the court,” said Asia in Filipino.

Jude Garcia poured in 21 points built on 18 attacks and three blocks. Kim Malabunga had 12 points, while Ysay Marasigan added 10 points to lift the King Crunchers to the cusp of a semifinal ticket with a 5-1 record.

Chu Njigha also provided the spark from the bench with nine points and Pemie Bagalay, who had seven points, 15 excellent receptions, and four digs. Marck Espejo only played in the first set with five points.

Navy’s five-game winning streak was snapped with a 5-2 record despite Joeven Dela Vega’s 20-point effort.

READ: Criss Cross’ Jude Garcia hardly missing beat in indoor return


Greg Dolor had 13 points for the Sealions, while libero Jack Kalingking made 30 excellent receptions and eight digs, seeking to bounce back next week to secure a semis berth.

Meanwhile, the also-ran VNS-Nasty banked on the troika of Rocky Motol, Wewe Medina, and Kenneth Culabat to eliminate Maverick, 22-25, 25-21, 25-11, 25-15.

Already out of the semis race, the Griffins improved to a 2-4 record in sixth place with Motol and Medina leading the way with 14 points each.

Culabat also delivered the goods for VNS with an all-around performance of 13 points, 16 receptions, and six digs.

“All my players are available today. We missed them in our previous games due to schoolwork. The team found its right mix,” said VNS coach Ralph Ocampo in Filipino after Motol and Ralph Lacuanan returned to the lineup.

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The Maverick Hard Hitters dropped to a 1-3 record with Jerome Cordez carrying the squad with 15 points.

TAGS: spikers’ turf

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