Navy recovered from a tough first-set setback and swept the next three, pouncing on VNS-One Alicia’s costly miscue in the fourth to carve out a 26-28, 25-18, 25-16, 25-23 victory and nail the bronze medal in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena yesterday.
The Sealions put their act together after being upended by the Griffins in the extended opening set skirmish, reasserting their might in offense and on the net in the next two to regain control. They also took command majority of the fourth but wobbled in the stretch, enabling the Griffins to pile up points and pull within 23-24.
But the Sealions didn’t have to re-group as Alfred Pagulong fumbled behind the service line, allowing the former to post their best finish since losing to PLDT for the bronze medal in the 2015 Reinforced Conference.
The Sealions swept the Griffins, 25-20, 25-19, 25-21, in Game One of their side of the best-of-three last Thursday.
National U-Sta. Elena was also gunning for a sweep of the title against defending champion Cignal HD at presstime.
Meanwhile, Sta. Elena’s crisp-hitting Nico Almendras bagged the MVP trophy while Cignal’s Marck Espejo and VNS-One Alicia’s Ben San Andres shared the best outside spiker honors during awards rites graced by league president Alyssa Valdez and tournament director Mozzy Ravena along with Sta. Elena and Cignal team managers Dennis Abcede jr and Ken Ucong, respectively.
NU-Sta. Elena’s Ave Retamar took the best setter plum, Cignal’s Ysay Marasigan claimed the best outside spiker honors, Obed Mukaba of Sta. Elena and Cignal’s JP Bugaoan were named the best middle blockers, and Cignal’s Manuel Sumanguid III copped the best libero title.
Earlier, Ron Rosales fired 15 points on 12 attacks and three kills blocks to lead Navy’s assault with skipper Greg Dolor adding 13 points and Joeven dela Vega finishing with 12 points.
San Andres unloaded 16 attack points and three aces for VNS, which also drew 15 points from Mike Gonzalvo.