Instituto Estetico Manila banked on a solid showing in the third set as it turned back Sta. Elena, 22-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-22, yesterday for its first victory in the Premier Volleyball League men’s tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Far Eastern University’s Greg Dolor hammered down 26 kills to finish with a career-high 28 points for the IEM Phoenix Volley Masters, who finally barged into the winning column after back-to-back defeats to Army and Cignal.
IEM’s triumph also pulled down Sta. Elena from solo lead as the Wrecking Balls dropped to their first defeat after early wins over Café Lupe and Air Force.
Leading 24-21 in the third frame, IEM saw Sta. Elena fight back with three straight points to tie it at 24, before Dolor pounced on the Wrecking Balls’ net defense en route to the Phoenix Volley Masters’ set win.
Darryl Valenzuela pumped in 15 points built on 11 hits and four blocks for IEM, even as Rudy Gatdula and Joeward Presnede added 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Rence Ordoñez also stepped up for the Phoenix Volley Masters by posting 54 excellent sets.
University of the East’s Edward Camposano scored 22 points including 18 attacks, but his efforts to steer Sta. Elena to the winning circle were not enough.
IEM outplayed Sta. Elena on all departments, including in spikes, 60-53, and blocks, 12-4.