(UPDATED) Go for Gold improved to 2-0 in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League on Tuesday after a straight set conquest of debuting Basilan Steel Spikers.
The Air Force Aguilas are now assured of a spot in the Final 4 after beating the Steel Spikers, 25-15, 28-26, 25-20, at the Aquamarine Recreational Center in Lipa City, Batangas.
It was the first game of the competition for Basilan, who will contest the second spot in Pool A with the Manileño Spikers on Wednesday.
Go for Gold, a team that features several national team mainstays, had to avert a meltdown in the second set as the Steel Spikers showed their mettle after a shaky start.
But errors caught up to Basilan, with Joshua Barrica committing a net violation to put Go for Gold at set point, 27-26. The Air Force Aguilas completed the set win with a rejection of Barrica at the net in the next rally.
John Vic de Guzman then made sure that there would be no comeback for the Steel Spikers as he fired the big hits in the third frame to secure the win.
De Guzman, the skipper of the national team, had 17 points including three aces, while Mark Alfafara put up 13 points, seven receptions, and three digs. Libero Ricky Marcos had 17 receptions and 11 digs, while Jessie Lopez had 13 excellent sets in their quick victory.
"We had a better performance today," said Go for Gold coach Dante Alinsunurin. "We had a better effort in our service and receive, that's why everything went well."
Esmail Kasim and Mohammad Jainor Sulayman scored nine points apiece for the Steel Spikers.
With their pool play schedule complete, Go for Gold now awaits the second-placer in Pool B in the semifinals.