Savouge RTU Basilan recovered from a slow start and survived a lengthy second set battle of power and poise as it bolstered its quarterfinal drive with a tough 20-25, 32-20, 35-20, 25-22 victory over Xentromall-EAC in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila Sunday.
"Nung una, alam ko naman talagang kaya nilang ilabas ang tunay na laro nila kahit di namin nakuha ang first set. Nakita ko naman na ginagawa nila lahat kaya sabi ko basta ilabas niyo ang laro niyo kahit kaninong team lalaban tayo," said Savouge RTU head coach Sabtal Abdul on his wards’ rebound from the second set onwards.
Savouge thus improved to 3-1, matching Navy’s mark in Pool D of the four-division tournament with the top two from each pool of six teams after the single round robin elims advancing to the next phase.
But Chef on a Diet-FEU remains at the helm at 3-0 wit the Tamaraws to test the Savouge side's strength in a key duel on Dec. 1.
In a bid to force a fifth set, the Generals rallied from a 17-21 deficit to within one on a three-point binge capped by Ervin Osabel's solid block, forcing Abdul to sue for time and map out their counterplay.
And the Golden Thunders rose to the challenge as Renzel Antonio took over and presided the team’s strong windup to clinch the crucial victory in two hours and five minutes.
Lorenz Señoron led the way for Savouge with 21 points and 11 excellent receptions while Antonio came off the bench and banged in 18 points.
Marvin Romero finished with 12 points, while Ruther Abor and Jester Bornel made 10 points each for the Generals, who bowed out with a 1-3 mark. They play the winless Bayleaf Hotels side on Nov. 26.