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THE Astumbo Middle School Dragons made their way to Ordot yesterday afternoon and awaiting the Dragons were the hosting Agueda Johnston Pirates.
Both teams were scheduled to take on one another in Interscholastic Middle School Boys’ Volleyball League action. Not wasting any time and taking any chances, the Dragons torched their way to a 25-10, 25-16 straight-set victory over their opponents. With the victory, the Dragons improve their season record to 4-3, while the Pirates drop to 1-6.
“We did really well today, our serves were key today against the Pirates. We had to come into today’s game playing our best, because Agueda always puts their best out,” said Astumbo coach Kennith Sabalboro.
Despite opening the first set with a service error, the Dragons were able to regain composure and built a quick 4-1 lead backed by the serving of John Dabu. The Pirates managed to get back into the game moments later and cut their deficit to 6-5 after a nicely placed serve by Christian Quintanilla. The scoreboard reflected a 7-7 tie after both teams ran into some trouble passing which forced some costly errors.
However, the Dragons returned from a called timeout and from that point on took over from the service line. What was once a tied game grew into a 16-7 lead after Ilaster Muritok recorded seven aces.
Agueda managed to temporarily stop the bleeding and added two more points to their tally. Astumbo denied any other chance of them entering the game as Andrew Sampayan showed his strength at the line and recorded three aces of his own to put his team up 21-9. The Dragons were able to close out the first set on a 4-1 run that included three unforced errors from the Pirates.
“Our serving was the strong part of our game today, we just have to believe in ourselves all the time,” Muritok said.
Second-set action started out with both teams trying to find rhythm. A slew of errors kept the game tight and allowed for the lead to change three times while tying on three occasions. With the score 5-5, the Dragons went back to their strength and rode the back of Michael De Leon who managed to up his team’s lead to 14-5 after nine straight aces.
Agueda wasn’t ready to surrender and put points on the board midway through the set to make it an 18-11 game. Jarred Sarosa and Ethan Dela Cruz picked up two aces and two kills combined in the mini-run.
Astumbo recognized the Pirates making a move and called a time-out. Whatever was said in the one-minute huddle proved to work as the Dragons closed out the set to pick up the 25-16 victory and end the match.
“The first round of games are done, we just have to continue to practice hard and work hard to finish the season on a strong note,” De Leon said.
Interscholastic Middle School Boys’ Volleyball Leagu action resumes Saturday morning with three games scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.