MANILA — North Cotabato AMC swept One Balagtas Bulacan, 25-21, 25-18, 25-15, to claim the No. 2 ranking in men’s Pool B of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League at the Philsports Arena Thursday.
Jao Umandal scored 12 points, Fauzi Ismail added 10 points, including two service aces while Lloyd Josafat, fielded in the second set, contributed eight points for the G-Spikers.
With a 3-1 record, North Cotabato made it to Friday’s knockout quarterfinals of the tournament supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Rebisco, PLDT, Philippine Olympic Committee, Cignal HD, One Sports, Cignal Play, F2 Logistics, and Amigo Segurado.
National University-Pasay City became Pool B winners via a 4-0 sweep, capping its domination with a 25-13, 25-16, 25-15 romp of Aklan Wednesday night.
The Republicans were very much in the match in the first two sets, but ran out of steam in the third, as Umandal, Ismail and Wewe Medina delivered the goods, while Cian Silang fired two of his four points from the service zone in the third set.
Also in the quarters are Pool A’s PGJC-Navy and Cignal and Pool C’s TARAG-Lolek Bacolod and Army Taguig City.
Imus City kept its hopes alive as one of the top two best third-place finishers to advance in the quarterfinals following a 25-20, 25-10, 25-15 win over Aklan in the other Pool B match.
The Cavite-based side ended up at 2-2. Santa Rosa, which finished at No. 3 in Pool C with a 2-2 card, remains in the quarters hunt, while Basilan Tennun and VNS Quezon City, tied in third in Pool A at 1-3, still have a shot of making it.
Hero Austria came through with 12 points, including two service aces, while Madz Gampong and Ronniel Rosales had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Led by Imus native setter Ish Polvorosa, decorated coach Sammy Acaylar is happy to handle the team.
“Actually, we had one week of preparations for this,” said Acaylar. “Of course, it is good exposure for the players. We get players from Imus itself to develop our own product.”
With the short tournament, Acaylar had to work hard in jelling the team.
“Of course, the chemistry itself because they are getting to know each other. But then through these games, I inject chemistry and communication into each other,” said Acaylar.
Yoyong Mendoza hammered nine kills, while John Mendoza added eight points for Bulacan, which ended its Pool B stint with a 1-3 record.
Earlier, John Paul Mangahis and John Steven Aligayon combined for 48 points as UE Manila outlasted Baguio, 25-20, 25-14, 25-27, 24-26, 15-12, to wrap up its Pool C campaign with a 1-3 card.
The Highlanders, who drew 19 points from Mike Genesis Ferrer, went winless in four matches. (ai/mtvn)
North Cotabato’s Kim Malabunga tries to convert a kill over Bulacan’s John Estavillo during their PNVF Champions League men’s pool match Thursday. PNVF PHOTO