By John Bryan Ulanday
LIPA CITY — Unbeaten Team Dasma Monarchs advanced to the semifinals after walloping the Sabong International Spikers with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-23 win at the end of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League preliminaries yesterday at the Aquamarine Recreational Center Gym here.
Madzlan Gampong starred with 12 markers, Mark Frederick Calado (11) and Jayvee Sumagaysay (9) chipped in solid contributions as the Monarchs swept Pool B with a 3-0 card.
“We achieved our short-term goal of finishing on top of Pool B entering the semis but it’s still a long away ahead,” said coach Norman Miguel.
Dasma will face off against VNS Manileno Spikers, who secured the second spot in Pool A behind unbeaten Go For Gold-Air Force following a 25-17, 25-22, 25-23 win over Basilan Steel Spikers in the second game.
John Benedict San Andres (13) and Rwenzmel Taguibolos (10) led the way as Manileno finished at 1-1 in Pool A after a narrow five-setter loss to Air Force in the opener.
“It’s a do-or-die match for us so I just told our team to handle the pressure and stick to the system. Thankfully, we did,” said Manileno coach Ralph Ocampo, bracing for a tall order in the Final Four against unblemished Dasma.
Razzel Palisoc put up 12 markers for the Steel Spikers in a losing cause as they got dragged down to the classification stage with a winless 0-2 campaign.
Also in the semis is Pool A top-seed Go For Gold-Air Force (2-0), who will face the No. 2 team from Pool B.
MRT Negros (1-1) and Global Remit, (0-2) were still clashing as of press time with Sabong International (1-2) waiting at the sidelines to determine the last semis qualifier from Pool B.
The PNVF Champions League is backed by Rebisco, Pitmaster Foundation, Inc., Top Speed, 1Pacman Partylist, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee as platinum sponsors; F2 Logistics, Asics, PLDT, MVP Sports Foundation and Mikasa as gold sponsors; and BCDA, Philippine Red Cross, Lipa City, Davis Paint and Emerald PVC Pipes, Fittings and Doors as silver sponsors with PNVF godfather, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter S. Cayetano, chairman of the Champions League, giving his full support.