The Black Mamba Army won their first game in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the expense of the tenacious Bali Pure Water Defenders, 25-16, 25-27, 25-21, 26-24, at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra town on Tuesday, avenging a setback in their first game.
They heavily leaned on Royse Tubino, who tallied 19 total points, including 17 attacks. Meanwhile, Jovelyn Gonzaga, on top of 16 digs and 12 excellent receptions, added 13 for the veteran-laden Army.
“Luckily, nanalo pero yung laro medyo malayo pa dun sa hinihingi namin na performance. So considering na nanalo kami nung first set tapos bigla kaming bumababa, biglang baba yung balikat. So, ayun ang kailangan naming tingnan, kasi halos mga naglalaro sa’min, mga beterano pa,” Army coach Kung Fu Reyes said.
Tubino seized control late in the last set, scoring back-to-back hits to tie the game at 18 all.
In the next play, Nerissa Bautista hit an ace, and Bern Flora’s spike went long, giving the Army a two-point lead, 20-18.
However, following Grace Bombita’s top spin, the young Bali Pure team recovered the lead, 20-19. Tubino and Gen Casugod then traded hits in the fourth set’s final stretch.
Casugod put the Water Defenders within a point of forcing a decider, but Gonzaga went for an off-the-block spike before Ging Balse-Pabayo scored the game’s final two points, 26-24.
The Army appeared to have lost control of the match after winning the first set comfortably, dropping the second set against Bali Pure.
In the third set, they faced another fright until veteran battled back to take a 2-1 set lead.
For the Water Defenders, Bombita had 18 points while Flora had 15 points, 27 digs, and 23 receptions.
The Army has a 1-1 win-loss record, while the Bali Pure have started their PVL campaign with a 0-1 loss.