PVL: Jet Spikers break thru, down Red Spikers

Games Wednesday
2 p.m. – Choco Mucho vs Air Force
4 p.m. – PacificTown Army vs BaliPure
6 p.m. – BanKo-Perlas vs Motolite

Forced to an extended duel in the opening frame, Air Force leaned on its experience to ground Chef’s Classics then re-asserted its might in the next and held sway in the third to fashion out a 26-24, 25-15, 25-22 victory and nail the elusive win in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.

The Jet Spikers also pounced on the Red Spikers’ miscues in the third, the last two – a net violation and an attack error – securing the win for the former after the latter dominated early then fought back and threatened last at 22-23 on a Nieza Viray power hit.

Dell Palomata led Air Force’s attack with 16 hits, including three kill blocks, while the rest provided the spunk and poise, particularly in the third that saw the Jet Spikers struggle and hobble trying to shake off their young but determined rivals.

The victory, its first in six games, hardly moved Air Force in the nine-team standings but it should give the Jet Spikers some kind of a push as they go up against the Choco Mucho Flying Titans on Wednesday and the PacificTown Army Lady Troopers on Saturday at the close of their first round elims assignment.

Chef’s Classics absorbed its seventh straight defeat in its maiden stint in the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa, Asics and KFC.

“We just helped each out there and we hope to get stronger after this (win),” said Palomata, who pumped the bulk of her output on quick hits set up by Wendy Semana.

Foiled on her quick attack by the stubborn Red Spikers, Palomata converted on her second try to shatter a 24-all count then Judy Caballejo scored on a well-placed tip to end the first set that went over the distance after the league’s newcomers battled back from 21-24 down and forced a tie on a Cecilia Bangad hit, a kill block and a Joy Cases attack error.

But the Jet Spikers checked their skid in time and thwarted the Red Spikers on that Palomata hit and Caballejo’s smart play. They imposed their power and will in the next but trailed in the face of the Red Spikers’ strong start in the third.

Palomata’s back-to-back hits tied the count at 14 but just when the Jet Spikers had thought they had the Red Spikers clipped at 23-20 on back-to-back Mae Antipuesto kill blocks and Caballejo hit, Chef’s Classics took the next two points on a Caballejo attack error and a Nieza blast.

In PVL Collegiate Conference, Adamson U underscored its readiness for the next UAAP campaign as it stunned reigning champion Ateneo, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-21, to clinch the first semifinal berth, also at the San Juan arena yesterday. Ateneo dropped to 3-1.

UST joined Adamson in the Final Four, surviving FEU, 25-14, 25-17, 10-25, 23-25, 15-12, last Saturday.