(UPDATED) Team Dasma is through to the semifinals of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League as the top seed in Pool B.
This, after the Monarchs completed a 25-20, 25-21, 25-23 sweep of the Sabong International Spikers on Wednesday at the Aquamarine Recreational Center in Lipa City, Batangas.
Team Dasma concluded the group phase of the competition with a 3-0 record in Pool B and will enter the semis as the No. 1 seed. They await the No. 2 seed from Pool A, which will either be the Manileño Spikers or the Basilan Steel Spikers.
Meanwhile, the youthful Sabong International Spikers will await the result of the game between MRT-Negros and Global Remit to see if they will also play in the semifinals. They concluded the group stage with a 1-2 win-loss record.
"We are happy of course that we ranked No. 1 in our bracket. That’s our short-term goal for this tournament," Dasma coach Norman Miguel said. "I think we have to work on our conditioning. The good thing is we have rest tomorrow (Thursday)."
While they won in straight sets, it was not an entirely comfortable victory for the veteran Dasma squad, particularly in the third frame where they had to avoid a collapse.
The Spikers got to within one, 17-16, before a Madzlan Gampong hit and an attack error by Sabong International restored some breathing room for Dasma, 19-16.
But Sabong International would not go away quietly, and again trimmed the lead to one point, 23-22, when a miscommunication by the Monarchs allowed Johnedel Flores to score from the service line.
Off a timeout, Dasma skipper Jayvee Sumagaysay rejected Mark Rocamora to put the Monarchs at match point, 24-22, but a quick kill from Charles Absin momentarily kept Sabong alive, 24-23.
Unfortunately for Sabong, they gave away the winning point when they were called for a net violation in the final rally.
Gampong led the way for the Monarchs with 12 points on eight kills, three blocks, and a service ace. Mark Calado, their standout from Far Eastern University, put up 11 points. Sumagaysay scored two of his nine points on kill blocks.
Jelord Talisayan scored all 15 of his points on kills, while Absin contributed 10 markers.
The second place team in Pool B will play unbeaten Go for Gold in the semifinals. At stake in the tournament is the lone spot to the 2022 Asian Men's Club Volleyball Championship.