Active Smashers turn back Blue Thunder to gain share of lead in men's V-League
Salvador Depante poured in a game-high 26 points in Systema's four-set win over Rizal Technological University. Dante Peralta

JOHN Depante stepped up for Systema as it demolished Rizal Technological University, 25-18, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22, to gain a share of the lead in the men’s division of the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 Third Conference  at The Arena in San Juan Thursday.

Depante, the former University of Santo Tomas standout, poured in 26 points, from 20 hits, five blocks, and one service ace, for the Active Smashers, who tied IEM on top of the standings with similar 2-1 slates at the end of the first round elimination.

Angelo Espiritu added 19 to help fill in the void left by Christopher Antonio, the team’s leading scorer with a total of 41 total points in the Active Smashers’ first two games.

Antonio did nit suit up owing to work commitment.

“Mabuti nag-step up sila kasi wala si Antonio, kahapon lang namin nalaman na hindi siya pwede kaya mabuti gumawa 'yung dalawa,” said Systema coach Arnold Laniog, referring to Depante and Antonio.  

RTU fell at the bottom in a tie with Far Eastern University (1-2).

The Blue Thunder earned 40 points from Systema's errors in the four-setter match that took an hour and 39 minutes to finish.

“Ang sabi ko sa kanila kalaban natin ang sarili natin, tayo ang nagbibigay ng puntos sa kalaban, pag nagkakamali tayo napupunta sa kanila ang momentum,” said Laniog.

“Niremind ko sila, sabi ko, mag-settle down lang tayo, mag trabaho tayo,” he added.

Sahud Masahud finished with 13 points for RTU, while Alnasip Laja and Carlo Sebastian added 11 and 10, respectively.

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