AIR Force checked its two-game slide with a methodical 25-11, 25-19, 25-8 victory over a hapless Coast Guard side on Wednesday to keep its slim semifinals hopes alive in the Shakeys’ V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
The Jet Spikers imposed their will on the net while pouncing on the Lady Dolphins poor reception and floor defense to post the lopsided 60-minute win in a big rebound from their four-set and shutout losses to the Laoag Power Smashers and BaliPure Water Defenders, respectively, last week.
Despite the victory, the Open Conference runner-up remained tied for sixth with UP at 2-3 and will need to sweep its last two games against UP and Customs and hope that three from Pocari, Bali Pure, Laoag and UP won’t go over four wins to force a playoff for the last semis seat in the season-ending conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
The Lady Dolphins actually put up a gutsy stand in the second set and kept the game close but a series of mishits enabled the Jet Spikers to pull away again in the end.
Air Force cruised in the third frame, posting a 16-6 lead before finishing off their rivals with hits on set and combination plays, tip-ins and on scores off their rivals’ errors.
“Unlike in our losses, we played as a team today,” said Dell Palomata, who finished with seven attack points for an eight-point total and clinched the best player of the game honors. “We’ll just have to play with more confidence and improve on our communication in our last two games.”
Mary Ann Pantino topscored for Air Force with 10 hits while Jennifer Manzano and Judy Ann Caballejo added six points apiece and Joy Cases, Iari Yongco and Mae Antipuesto chipped in five markers each.
Air Force unloaded 44 kills against Coast Guard’s measly 14-attack effort with the Jet Spikers also producing seven aces and four blocks to dominate the Lady Dolphins in the tournament backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.
Grenlen Malapit had five points while Sam Dawson and Hazel Mea made four and three hits, respectively, for the ousted Coast Guard, which fell to 0-5.
12:30 p.m. – Army vs Champion Supra (S Turf)
4 p.m. – UP vs BaliPure (V League)
6 p.m. – Pocari vs Customs (V League)
Standings W L
*UST 4 1
Customs 3 1
Pocari 2 1
BaliPure 2 1
*Laoag 2 2
UP 2 3
Air Force 2 3
Coast Guard 0 5
*Still playing at presstime