Sealions beat City Lions

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — PGJC-Navy used its veteran smarts and balanced scoring to hammer out a 25-19, 25-14, 25-23 victory over the hapless Santa Rosa side and get back into the mix in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila yesterday.

Greg Dolor came away with 12 points, including five blocks, while five others churned out at least seven points as the Sealions overwhelmed the City Lions to bounce back from a sorry five-set setback to the Army Troopers two weeks ago.

The Sealions thus forced a four-way logjam at fifth with VNS, Army and Vanguard at 1-1, while Santa Rosa absorbed its third straight defeat in the tournament organized by Sports Vision.

Middle blockers Geffrey Alicando and Jemmy Entig added 10 and nine points, respectively, while Christian Marcelino and Marvin Villanueva posted nine and eight markers, respectively, for the Sealions.

Jude Garcia also marked his debut for Navy with seven points in just two sets of play.

“Lesson learned na kasi sa amin nung natalo kami sa Army kasi nung time na yun kulang kami sa communication, wala kaming teamwork pa dahil sa two weeks na pagsasama puro bago kasi, anim ‘yung nawala sa amin,” said Sealions assistant coach Leah Ariola, who took over from head mentor Cecille Cruzada, who had to attend to an emergency.

The youthful Lions from Laguna actually fought back in the third and threatened to extend the match after grabbing a 23-21 lead on a Jerico Adajar block off Marcelino’s attempt.

But Marcelino, Garcia, and Villanueva  countered with three straight points before Santa Rosa skipper Harvey Quezada’s spike hit the antenna to hand the victory to the Sealions.

“Sabi ko lang sa kanila huwag i-underestimate kasi puro bata ‘yan (Santa Rosa) eh,” added Ariola.

Anrie Bakil scored nine points while Kevin Montemayor and John Mendoza put in seven points each for the City Lions.

Meanwhile, top hitter Bryan Bagunas has committed to play for Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography, further bolstering one of the league’s new four teams’ frontline rotation.
“We are excited to have one of the best players in the country to play for our team,” said AJAA Spikers team manager Atty. Timothy Ngo of the 6-5 spiker, who is currently playing with the Winstreak in Taiwan.
“When we told the players and the coaches about it, they were all excited as well -- especially the players because some of them have never played with Bryan. They can’t wait to learn from him,” he added.
“Sobrang saya at I can’t wait to come back home. Iba pa rin maglaro sa atin,” said the 25-year-old Bagunas, the 2018 Premier Volleyball League Men’s Open Conference MVP.
Since 2019, Bagunas has been playing overseas, playing with Oita in the Japan V. League and with Winstreak in Taiwan this year.
Bagunas will thus join the likes of Louie Ramirez, Kim Malabunga, Hero Austria and Ish Polvorosa in the (2-0) Imus roster.


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