AIR Force turned back Laoag, 25-20, 26-24, 26-24, to draw first blood in semifinals of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Jet Spikers fought back from six points down in the second set, using a 10-2 run highlighted by an Iari Yongco service ace and two straight points by Judy Ann Caballejo.
Caballejo also had a hand in the four final points of the match, pushing Air Force to match point, 24-23, before her net touch extended the match. She made up for it by scoring the next two points to seal the win for the Jet Spikers.
The second match of the best-of-series is set on Saturday.
Air Force also avenged its elimination round loss to Laoag.
“Sana magtuluy-tuloy, ibigay pa sa amin ‘yung isa to the fight so lahat naman ng team ’yun ang ini-aim, championship, so konting sakripisyo pa,” said Jet Spikers coach Jasper Jimenez.
“Siguro mga beterano na ’yung mga players ko dati na nilang na-experience ’yung ganoon hanggang sa ngayon tinutuloy lang nila. ‘Yung confidence level ng team ngayon is medyo tumataas talaga,” said Jimenez.
The Jet Spikers mentor said they worked harder after they lost to Laoag in the elimination round, 14-25, 23-25, 23-25.
“Marami kaming binago. Service, receive, ’yun ang binago namin,” he said.
Adamson pair Mylene Paat and Jessica Galanza combined for 24 points for Laoag, while Arellano standout Jovielyn Prado chipped in 12.