SYSTEMA ended its first round campaign on a high note as it disposed pesky Instituto Estetico Manila, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 25-23, in the men's division of the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference
at the Astrodome on Wednesday.
Chris Macasaet came away with 16 points from 12 spikes, two blocks, and two kills, while Mark Lee added 10 for the Active Smashers, who evened their record at 2-2 and climbed to solo third place.
"We really prepared for this game, we maximized our strength," said Systema coach Oliver Almadro, whose team began its bid with a 0-2 slate before winning its last two outings.
"This game was all about mental toughness, IEM is not that tall but they are veterans pagdating sa game, they are very wise and smart, and we just prepared for their hustle and intensity," he added.
The Active Smashers stared at an 18-21 deficit in the fourth when they suddenly went on a 5-1 spurt, capped by three consecutive points by Gelo Espiritu, who scored on a power hit, AJ Pareja, who outwit his IEM defenders with a drop shotm and Macasaet, who came with an attack to give the team the lead, 23-22.
Alexis Faytaren stopped the bleeding for IEM with a quick attack at the middle to tie the contest at 23-all, but Michael Conde and Karl dela Calzada each came with outside hits to end the match and hand Systema the victory.
"I told my players to play with their minds and hearts. They need to be composed during critical times, just think of the game, kasi ang panalo manggagaling from within," said Almadro.
Dela Calzada finished with 17 points, from 10 hits and seven of IEM's 12 blocks, while Conde and Faytaren each added 12.
The Phoenix Volley Masters dropped to solo fourth with a 1-2 slate.