Team Iriga battled back five points down late in the third set and pulled off a 25-22, 25-17, 26-24 victory over Baguio City to wheel back into contention in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Wednesday.
The Lady Oragons strung up four straight points to close in at 19-20 then took seven of the last 11 points, including the last two in the extended third frame to fashion out the 71-minute victory.
It was a big win for the Bicol-based squad, which dropped a 1-3 setback to Laoag in its Monday’s debut in the league where it all started, putting the Lady Oragons back in the race in the single round elims among eight teams.
“It’s all about teamwork and trust in each other,” said Grazielle Bombita, who matched her 15-point effort against Laoag to clinch the best player of the game honors.
Shola Alvarez, who played college ball for Jose Rizal U, provided the solid backup with 11 hits, including four service aces, as the Lady Oragons got back into the thick of things in the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa and Accel.
With the Summer Spikers looking to extend the match after storming to a 20-15 lead in the third, the Lady Oragons went to Alvarez, who led the team’s fightback with a kill and a tip to threaten within. 19-20. Iriga then bucked a couple of errant serves then pounced on Baguio’s faulty reception and floor defense to complete the straight-set victory in the match aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23.
“It’s a good feeling finally getting a win in the Shakey’s V-League,” said Iriga coach Elvis Pabilona, who tinkered with his roster in the third set and gave his second stringers the feel of the game.
Earlier, Air Force routed Sta. Elena, 25-21, 25-18, 25-21, to join Cignal and Instituto Estetico Manila at the helm in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Open Conference.
Reyson Fuentes and Fauzi Ismail, both from National U, unloaded 13 hits apiece and reigning back-to-back NCAA MVP Howard Mojica came through with 10 points as the Jet Spikers completed their domination of the Sta. Elena side.
Air Force coach Rhovyl Verayo, however, said they have to minimize their errors for his team, which committed 27 in this game, to have a chance for the second in the season-opening conference of the league organizing by Sports Vision.
“We committed too many errors today (yesterday). We can’t afford to make those kinds of mistakes every game,” said Verayo in Filipino.
The loss spoiled the Sta. Elena debut of former UAAP MVP Peter Torres, formerly of Cagayan Valley who managed just six points.
1 p.m. – Air Force vs Cignal (S Turf)
4 p.m. – Baguio vs Air Force (V-League)
6;30 p.m. – Laoag vs Pocari (V-League)