MANILA, Philippines PLDT Home Ultera went to its second stringers to turn back Instituto Estetico Manila, 25-23, 26-28, 25-18, 25-20, to barge into the semifinals of the Spikers’ Turf Season One-Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City Tuesday.
Mark Gil Alfafara and Kheeno Franco paced the Ultra Fast Spikers with 14 and 13 hits, respectively, but it was the duo of John Paul Torres and Armando Malleon who shone the brightest in the final two sets that helped seal them their fifth win against two defeats.
With the duel tied a set apiece, Torres stepped in the third set where he poured in all his eight points there before Malleon took over in the fourth where he scattered six crucial hits that sealed it.
“Our bench players were really huge in this game, they helped the team a lot,” said PLDT coach Odjie Mamon.
With the win, PLDT finished second after the single-round robin elimination and will join Cagayan Valley, which finished first with a league-best 6-1 (win-loss) record, in the semifinals.
Ron Jay Galang and Johnvic de Guzman provided some spark and wound up with 11 and 10 points.
IEM team captain Karl Ian dela Calzada paced his team with 19 hits as the Phoenix Volley Masters closed out their campaign at the bottom after dropping all their seven matches.