THE Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls cruised to victory over Gamboa Coffee Mix, 25-19, 25-16, 25-20, on Wednesday in the 2017 Premier Volleyball League at The Arena in San Juan.
Berlin Paglinawan led the Wrecking Balls with 14 points, while Joven Camaganakan chipped in 10 markers as Sta. Elena brought Gamboa (1-5) back down after coming off their first win to snap a four-game slide.
“Ang sabi ko sa kanila, yung remaining games namin hanggang sa Sunday crucial talaga. Ayun yung mag-di-dictate kung papasok kami sa Final Four,” Sta. Elena coach Arnold Laniog said.
“As much as possible sa Sunday, kung kaya talaga naming tapusin ng mabilis, tapusin talaga. Pero if not, as much as possible panalo, kahit ilang sets ‘yon,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Army Troopers downed the Café Lupe Sun Risers in straight sets, 25-16, 25-20, 25-17, to remain in the playoff race.
Romnick Rico topscored for the Army with nine points while Manuel Medina and Tyrone Carodan chipped in six apiece.
“Noong nakaraan, medyo hindi masyadong maganda performance ng mga bata kasi watak-watak kami. Hindi kasi kami gaano nakakapag-ensayo araw-araw kasi nahahati oras nila sa UST tapos sa Army pero hindi ko naman sila pinilit kasi part ng school nila ‘yan. Yung sa natitirang pitong sundalo doon na lang kami nag-fofocus,” Army Troopers coach Rico De Guzman said.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, kung gusto nating makapasok sa playoffs ulit, hinihingi ko lang yung presence nila sa training para kahit itong two days na natitira, magawa ko yung pinapagawa ko sa kanilang play,” he added.
Sta. Elena and the Army Troopers are now tied with a 3-3 win-loss card behind the Megabuilders (6-0), Cignal (5-1) and Air Force (4-2).
The Wrecking Balls will battle against Café Lupe on July 30 while the Army will face Gamboa on July 29 at the same venue for their last crucial battles in the preliminary round that will determine their playoff spot with a possible three-way tie with the Air Force (4-2), who will face the Megabuilders on July 29.