Hair Fairy-Air Force got back on track with a straight-set win over 29-27, 25-16, 25-22 University of the Philippines, moving to joint third with idle BaliPure in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan on Wednesday.
But the victory didn’t come easy for the Lady Jet Spikers as they had to overcome the Lady Maroons’ gutsy stand in the first and third frames before completing nailing their second win in three starts in the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
Iari Yongco scored 15 points, including 13 kills to clinch the game’s top honors, while Jocemer Tapic, May Ann Pantino and Joy Cases added 12, 11 and 10 points respectively, for the Lady Spikers, who bounced back from a four-set setback to the unbeaten Creamline side last weekend.
“Our goal is to make the Final Four and hopefully we could sustain this kind of play in our succeeding games,” said Air Force coach Jasper Jimenez, whose wards will take on the Water Defenders on Sunday.
Air Force also suited up with former ace Dell Palomata, who saw action in the third set and scored three points while providing an intimidating presence on the net with her 6-3 frame.
“She played well and we expect her to get better,” said Jimenez of the St. La Salle-Bacolod standout.
Diane Carlos and Issa Molde combined for 33 hits but the Lady Maroons failed to flash endgame poise and reeled back with a series of miscues and dropped to 0-3 in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics.
After saving three set points and foiling the Lady Maroons in the grueling first set, the Jet Spikers dominated the second and appeared headed for another romp in the third after winning seven of the first nine points.
But the young Diliman-based squad fought back to force a tie thrice, the last at 18 before Air Force took seven of the last 11 points to pound out the win.
Air Force also pounced on UP’s miscues at endgame, scoring three off attack errors to seize a 23-18 lead although the Lady Maroons kept it close on three off-speed hits to pull within two.
But Cases unleashed a power hit and after the veteran campaigner fumbled with a mishit in their next attack, the Lady Jet Spikers closed out the Maroons with a Palomata block on Carlos.
Earlier, Cignal HD overpowered Army, 25-20, 25-29, 25-17, to join newcomer Megabuilders in the lead at 3-0 of the men’s tournament.
The Troopers dropped to 1-2.
Instituto Estetico Manila, on the other hand, swept Gamboa Coffee Mix, 25-22, 25-17, 25-13, for a 1-1 card while dealing the latter their third straight loss.
Pocari 3 0
Creamline 3 0
BaliPure 2 1
Air Force 2 1
Perlas 1 2
*Power Smashers 0 2
*AdU 0 2
UP 0 3
*Playing at presstime
Megabuilders 3 0
Cignal TV 3 0
Air Force 2 1
Sta. Elena 1 2
Army 1 2
IEM 1 1
Café Lupe 0 2
Gamboa 0 3
Games on Saturday
10 a.m. – Café Lupe vs Air Force
1 p.m. – IEM vs Megabuilders
4 p.m. – Pocari Sweat vs Creamline
6:30 p.m. – Power Smashers vs Perlas