SKY HIGH. Air Force is now in solo second heading into the stretch run of the tournament.
Philippine Air Force was pushed to the limit on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre, but had all the resolve it needed to pull through for a continued winning streak.
Mary Ann Pantino led three other teammates in double-digit scoring and the Lady Jet Spikers came out on top in a five-set thriller, 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 17-25, and 15-13 to oust the Power Smashers from contention in the 2017 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
With the win, Air Force ascended into a 4-1 standing and assured itself of at least a playoff for a semifinals spot. “Sobrang importante sa amin nito kasi from nothing kami last conference. Dahan-dahan lang kami pag-akyat,” head coach Jasper Jimenez said.
The win also moved the Jet Spikers into solo second and still breathing down the neck of league-leading and undefeated Creamline.
They were well on their way to an easy win in this one, pocketing the first two sets before getting complacent.
Forced into a fifth and final frame, however, Air Force recovered just in time.
Down by two, 7-9, Iari Yongco took charge and connived with reserve player Camille Abanto in an 8-4 rush to close the contest. “Maganda ang naging hugot ko sa fifth set. Yung mga bata, kapag binigyan mo ng pagkakataon, nabubugayan sila ng loob,” Jimenez said.
Pantino wound up with 14 points, all but one coming from spikers, while Joy Cases and Yongco also added 12 markers apiece.
For the Power Smashers, Jovelyn Prado fronted the effort with 22 points.
Holding a 1-5 card, they will not be making it into enter the next round
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