SYSTEMA Tooth and Gum Care proved steadier than Far Eastern U in the fiercely fought first two sets then wore down the former UAAP champions in the third to complete a 29-27, 26-24, 25-18 victory on Sunday and wrest the solo lead in the men’s division of the Shakey’s V-League Third Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
Syl Honrade came away with six blocks and topscored with 14 hits, Salvador Depante tossed in nine markers, while Chris Antonio and Angelo Espiritu added nine points apiece as the Active Smashers surged past the idle Instituto Estetico Manila Volley Masters to move ahead of the four-team field at 3-1.
The Tamaraws dropped to 1-3 and virtually bowed out in the title race.
FEU kept the match close in the first two frames but just couldn’t stop the Active Smashers’ strong finishing kick.
Greg Dolor, who saw action only in the first two sets, finished with nine hits to lead FEU, with Lucky Margante and Joel Cayaban chipping in seven and six points, respectively.
Systema produced 40 points off spikes, six more than FEU, and had more blocks, 10-8.
Active Smashers coach Arnold Laniog rotated 13 players to baffle FEU, with setter Al-Frazin Abdulwahab accounting for 19 of the team’s 34 excellent sets.