PGJC-Navy came back from a set down to steal a 19- 25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-21 win over VNS One-Alicia in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena in San Juan Saturday.
Greg Dolor and Jau Umandal led two other Sealions in double-digit scoring as the semifinals-bound Navy extended its winning run to three for a 4-1 win-loss record in a two-way logjam at second with Cignal.
The power-hitting duo pounded 14 kills each with Dolor pacing the Sealions with 17 points. Umandal, the league’s leading scorer, added 16 markers for Navy, which peppered VNS with 50 attack points and foiled the Griffins’ attempt to capture the last Final Four seat outright.
Meanwhile, National University-Sta. Elena moved a step closer to completing an elimination sweep after booting out Ateneo-Fudgee Barr, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19, in the nightcap.
Nico Almerdras and Michaelo Buddin scored 10 points each while Obed Mukaba had nine markers with three coming from kill blocks for the Nationals, who are still unbeaten in five games. Almendras also played solid floor defense with 14 excellent receptions.
The Blue Eagles kissed their semifinals hopes goodbye and closed their campaign with just one win in six games.
The Sealions also turned to their vaunted net defense to silence the Griffins hitters with Peter Quiel posting four kill blocks and Dolor chipping in with three denials in Navy’s total of 13 kill blocks. Quiel finished with 10 points while Ronniel Rosales had 11.
Head coach Cecile Cruzada said reception woes cost the Sealions the first set.
“They started a little jittery. I told them to just enjoy the game and play without pressure. Just communicate inside the court to execute our plays,” Cruzada said.
“They were having trouble with the first ball in the first set. I told them to take it easy and get a good first ball to create good plays. It’s a relief they were able to adjust.”
The Sealions were quick to respond after surrendering the opening set.
Navy handed the Griffins their third straight loss and spoiled VNS’ Final Four bid.
Despite a 2-3 slate, the Griffins can still advance in the semis if Santa Rosa City and Army — who are tied at 1-4 records — drop their remaining games.
Uriel Mendoza and Benedict San Andres logged in 12 points each for VNS while Kevin Montemayor had 10 markers.
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