Black Mamba Army bounced back from their opening game loss as they captured the first win in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference in Ilocos Norte on Tuesday.
The Army survived the gritty Bali Pure Water Defenders in a tight 25-16, 25-27, 25-21, 26-24 win at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra town.
They heavily leaned on Royse Tubino, who tallied 19 total points, in the crucial fourth set where they rallied back from a five-point deficit, 8-13.
Jovelyn Gonzaga added 13 points 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 took charge late in the last frame where she scored back-to-back hits to equalize the match at 18.
Nerissa Bautista scored an ace in the ensuing play before Bern Flora sent her spike long, giving the Army a two-point advantage, 20-18.
But the young Bali Pure squad regained the lead after Grace Bombita’s top spin, 20-19. Tubino and Gen Casugod then exchanged hits down the stretch of the fourth set.
Casugod put the Water Defenders a point away from forcing a deciding frame, but Gonzaga went for an off-the-block spike before Ging Balse-Pabayo scored the last two points of the match, 26-24.
After a comfortable first set win, the Army appeared to have lost their grip of the match, surrendering the second set to Bali Pure.
They had another scare in the third until veteran came up strong to eventually establish a 2-1 set lead.
Bombita scattered 18 points while Flora had 15 for the Water Defenders.
The Army is holding a 1-1 win-loss record, while Bali Pure opened their PVL campaign on a losing note, 0-1.