PLDT extended its winning streak to 16 after outlasting also-ran Bench Systema, 25-19, 26-28, 33-31, 25-18, in the men’s division of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix on Wednesday night at the Astrodome.
Former MVP Kheeno Franco and Dominico Lucindo finished with 12 points apiece for PLDT Air Force, while JP Torres, Jayson Ramos, and national team star Ranran Abdilla added seven markers, respectively.
The two-time champion, whose winning run dates back to the inaugural men’s tournament of the league, also got significant contributions from Jeffrey Malabanan, Henry James Pecana, and Ron Jay Galang, who combined for 17 points.
“Kahit sino kasi sa team ang gamitin pwede, wala kang itatapon," admitted PLDT Air Force team captain Jessie Lopez.
The Power Attackers lost only once in the last three conferences behind a 26-28, 25-20, 25-21, 19-25, 8-15 loss to Gilligan's in November 15 of last year, and dropped only two sets in four games in the ongoing tournament.
The Air Force, who fielded all of their players in the team’s final elimination round, will immediately play in the crossover semifinals against Maybank on Thursday (6 p.m).
“Strategy na rin namin 'yun para 'wag kami mabasa ng kalaban,” said Lopez.
Angelo Espiritu made 16 points for Bench-Systema, while John Depante chipped in 14, Ronald Tonquin and skipper Rocky Honrade added 11 markers apiece.
The Active Smashers ended their tournament campaign with a 0-4 card.