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Saints Spikers sink Lifesavers, make QF

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SPIKERS’ TURF JOHN Bautista and Saints and Lattes-Letran coast to the quarterfinals of the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference following a convincing win over Coast Guard, 25-18, 25-6, 25-21.

Saints and Lattes-Letran dished out a near-impeccable performance and convincingly defeated Coast Guard, 25-18, 25-6, 25-21, to clinch the last quarterfinal berth in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference yesterday at the Paco Arena in Manila.

The Saints Spikers dominated the Lifesavers in the opening set, limited their rivals to a measly six-point output in the next then held sway with big hits from Derrick Bautista and clutch plays from Vince Himzon in the third to fashion out the straight-set victory at the close of the eliminations in the season-ending conference organized by Sports Vision.

They finished the Pool C play with a 4-1 slate behind the unbeaten Cignal HD Spikers (5-0) and advanced to the knockout playoffs.

“Thank God for this win,” Letran coach Brian Esquibel said.

“We will prepare hard for the quarterfinals because we were last to qualify.”

The Saints Spikers will face Pool B topnotcher Cabstars-Cabuyao on Sunday with the winner tangling with guest team Maruichi Hyogo from Japan.

The Saints Spikers actually faced a resurgent Coast Guard unit in the third set that saw the Lifesavers racing to an 11-7 lead.

But Bautista stepped up to spark a big Letran counter-attack with middle blocker Himzon providing the endgame savvy to secure the win, the sweep and the quarters berth in 76 minutes.

Himzon produced 21 points on 16 attacks and five blocks, while Bautista finished with 10 points, the bulk of which he delivered in the third.

Aidam Adam and Rudy Gatdula had 12 and eight points, respectively, for Coast Guard, which wound up with a 0-5 card.

The other quarterfinalists are Sta. Elena-National University and Perpetual-Kinto Tyres from Pool A, Cabstars-Cabuyao and EcoOil-La Salle from Pool B and Pool D’s Navy and Chef on a Diet-FEU.


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