Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography bucked a cold start before finding its rhythm to nail back-to-back wins at the expense of skidding Vanguard, 23-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference yesterday at the Paco Arena.
The AJAA Spikers woke up just in time after yielding the tightly-contested opening frame to collect their fourth win in five outings just behind unbeaten teams Cotabato, Cignal and Iloilo.
Ridzuan Muhali showed the way for Imus as he led two other teammates in double figures while Rey Taneo displayed steady playmaking to run the club’s offensive executions with starting setter Ish Polvorosa groping for form.
Muhali posted 18 points off 15 attacks and three kill blocks and was also active in floor defense with six digs for the AJAA Spikers, who let the Volley Hitters steal the first set after squandering their hold of the early lead.
“We won the game, I’m satisfied but I thought we still need to improve on one important thing,” head coach Sammy Acaylar said.
He rued once again the complacency shown by his squad.
“I liked what I saw in my team during our tune-up games but I felt that they didn’t show the same intensity in this game,” Acaylar said.
“Maybe because of complacency. They know they have an advantage against the opposing team so they relaxed.”
“That’s why I kept on reminding them that they should always respect their opponents and never take any team lightly.”
Imus pulled away early in the second set but had to stave off repeated attempts by Vanguard to make a run. The AJAA Spikers again created enough separation in the next two frames to take control of the match which lasted for one hour and 49 minutes.
Kim Malabunga added 15 points while Ronniel Rosales got 11 markers for Imus. Taneo tallied 21 excellent sets that helped the AJAA Spikers connect 59 attack points.
The Volley Hitters shot themselves in the foot with an atrocious 29 errors that hastened their fall.
Vince Abrot’s 22-point effort went for naught as Vanguard dropped its fourth straight game for a 1-4 slate.
Razel Palisoc added 10 points while Jovs Camaganakan and Klyde Obay combined for 13 points in a lost cause.