PGJC-Navy recovered from a set down and some anxious moments in the fourth set to beat VNS One-Alicia, 26-28, 25-18, 25-16, 25-23, and salvage the bronze medal in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila on Saturday.
The Sealions shook off a cold start and displayed the full might of their vaunted net defense to complete a sweep of the best-of-three battle for third.
Ronniel Rosales finished with 15 points, hammering down 12 of his markers on attacks, while skipper Greg Dolor had 13 markers for Navy, which weathered a late fourth set fight back by the Griffins.
“We started really cold. I told them in the second to make some adjustments and enjoy the game,” Sealions head coach Cecil Cruzada said.
Peter Quiel wreaked havoc at the net for Navy, accounting for five of the Sealions’ 17 kill blocks. He closed his campaign with 12 points while Joeven Dela Vega also had 12 markers including four kill blocks.
The Sealions had a scare late in the fourth set after VNS saved three match points with Benedict San Andres smashing a kill to move within a point to force a deuce.
Alfredo Pagulong, however, threw away the opportunity when he sent his service long.
“We’re just happy were able to get a podium finish although we missed our goal of being the champions,” Cruzada added.
San Andres got 19 points anchored on 16 kills while Kevin Montemayor had 15 markers for VNS.
Meanwhile, Nico Almendras of National University-Sta. Elena was named Conference Most Valuable Player.
Cignal’s Marck Espejo and San Andres received the Best Outside Spiker recognitions, Obed Mukaba of NU-Sta. Elena and Cignal’s JP Bugaoan were named Best Middle Blockers while teammate Ysay Marasigan got the Best Opposite Spiker award.
Owa Retamar of NU-Sta. Elena and Cignal’s Manuel Sumanguid were recognized as Best Setter and Best Libero, respectively.