MANILA, Philippines -- Air Force takes flight.
The Lady Jet Troopers narrowly avoided an epic collapse in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Tuesday, recovering just in time to survive Perlas Volleyball in a five-set thriller at the San Juan Arena.
Losing a two sets to none lead, Air Force powered through in the final frame, taking a 26-24, 25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 15-13 victory for its first win of the new tournament.
Looking to bounce back from a bummer of a first game, head coach Jasper Jimenez drew an inspired performance from his wards as five Lady Jet Troopers finished in double figures.
May Ann Pantino led Air Force with 18 points while Iari Yongco and team captain Joy Cases added 17 apiece.
Jocemer Tapic and Angel Antipuesto also came through with 10 markers each to push Air Force to an even 1-1 record, tied with Perlas.
"Siguro ganun talaga yung naging rhythm ng laro. Nadali na nung composure eh, nandun na bumigay pa," Jimenez said on his team's blown 2-0 lead.
"Nag-relax na naman. Buti naka-kapit kami. Puso na siguro yun, buti gumana puso nila kung hindi patay yun," he added.
With its comeback falling short, Perlas blew a golden opportunity for an early lead in the standings after failing to follow-up on its big win over Creamline on opeding day.
Team captain Dzi Gervacio led Perlas with 15 points while middle blockers Amy Ahomiro and Kathy Bersola combined for 26. Amanda Villanueva came up with eight but her final drop that would have forced a deuce in the fifth set fell a little short.
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