MANILA, Philippines -- AMC-Cotabato recovered from a tough loss in the second set to out-duel Army, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24, in the 2023 Spikers' Turf Open Conference at Paco Arena in Manila on Wednesday.
Jau Umandal led the way for Cotabato with 17 points (13 attacks, three blocks, one ace) to go along with 11 excellent receptions. They improved to 2-0 in the conference, tying Imus and Iloilo at the top spot in the league standings.
But Cotabato head coach Odjie Mamon was not satisfied at his players' performance, calling it "erratic."
"Sa sobrang dami ng errors napu-frustrate na kami," said Mamon, as the Cotabato Spikers gave away 36 free points off their own miscues.
After a dominant first set romp, the Cotabato Spikers struggled in the next, enabling the Troopers to tie the count at 23. Kevin Liberato's off-the-block hit put Army at set point, and Umandal sent his next attack wide to gift Army the winner.
"Yung second set, may mga calls na pwedeng i-challenge kaya lang hinayaan ko na rin," said Mamon.
Army led 19-17 in Set 3, before Edward Camposano, Madz Gampong and Umandal combined to anchor Cotabato's stirring closing 8-3 run to put Cotabato back in the lead.
Benjaylo Labide and PJ Rojas came up with back-to-back hits to force a deuce. But Umandal hammered a 1-2 backrow kill followed by Fauzi Ismail's off-the-block hit to clinch the victory.
Camposano added 12 points for AMC while Gampong, Ismail, Lloyd Josafat and Rex Intal combined for 27 points.
Labide and Rojas chalked up 14 and 12 points, respectively, for the Troopers, who slid to 1-1.