Spikers' Turf: VNS bounces back, turns back Vanguard


Posted at Feb 01 2023 09:28 PM

The VNS Griffins improved to 1-1. PVL Media.
The VNS Griffins improved to 1-1. PVL Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- VNS is back in the win column of the 2023 Spikers' Turf Open Conference after a hard-earned sweep of Vanguard, 25-18, 30-28, 26-24, Wednesday night at the Paco Arena.

It was a bounce back victory for VNS, after they lost in straight sets to Cotabato last Friday.

Michael Bagalay provided a lift for VNS, finishing with nine points -- all on attacks -- on top of nine receptions as the Griffins improved to 1-1. They are tied with Vanguard and Philippine Army for fifth place in the standings.

VNS fell behind by as many as six points in the second set before fighting back to force a 24-all tie. After training points, Vanguard seized a 28-27 lead only for the Griffins to equalize when Nathan Sorio committed a service error.

Evo Riñon's block of Vince Abrot put VNS at set point, and Abrot misfired on his attack in the next rally to put VNS up, 2-0.

The Griffins sustained their momentum in the third set, leading by as much as seven points, 19-12. But the Volley Hitters struck back thanks in part to VNS' errors, forcing a deuce at 24. Unfortunately for Vanguard, Sorio's net touch put the Griffins at match point, and Bagalay finished them off with an off-the-block hit.

"Nakakatuwa kasi 11 players yung nawala sa amin eh so halos karamihan dito first timer na maglaro sa malaking liga like Spikers' Turf," said Griffins head coach Ralph Ocampo. 

"Nakakaboost ng morale dahil majority of my players hindi naman nakapag UAAP o NCAA,” he added.

Returning Ron Medalla led the well-balanced offense of VNS with 11 points while Noy Pedrosa matched Bagalay's output.

Abrot fired 18 points for Vanguard as Joven Camaganakan and Razzel Palisoc, who helped key their win over the National University-Archipelago the first time out, struggled with three and four points, respectively.