No head coach, no problem as Air Force rises to take opener of battle for third against PLDT
Maika Ortiz of the Air Force makes PLDT pay for the single coverage by Dindin Santiago. Jerome Ascano

WITH a substitute coach calling the shots, Philippine Air Force had a sluggish start but recovered to edge PLDT Home Telpad, 16-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-12, on Thursday in the opener of the best-of-three battle for third in the Shakey's V-League Season 11 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.

“Sa first set kasi nag-adjust pa ako, tinignan ko pa ang tamang timpla,” said national men's team mainstay Jessie Lopez,who took over as PAF head coach Aying Esteban will be out for the remainder of the tournament due to a special task assigned by the Air Force office.

“Noong mga sumunod na set, sabi ko sa kanila mag-enjoy lang sila, kahit wala si coach Aying no pressure lang,” he added.

League Best Blocker Maika Ortiz came up with 19 points for the Air Women, while Joy Cases scored 16 for the Air Women, who took an early lead in the fourth, 16-6, then used an 8-4 run to get to match point, 24-10.

Judy Ann Caballejo and Iari Yongco added 15 and 11, respectively, for Air Force.

The 28-year old Lopez is also the setter for the men's Air Force squad and the Power Pinoys squad that placed seventh in the 2014 Asian Men's Club Championship.

Dindin Santiago finished with 16 points for PLDT, while team captain Sue Roces chipped in with 10.

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