HD Spikers near PVL Reinforced Conference men's title
Mark Escarlote on Jun 10, 2017 03:25 PM
Lorenzo Capate of Cignal dropped 15 points in the HD Spikers Finals Game 1 win over Philippine Air Force.
Cignal shrugged off a shaky start and came back from a set down to draw first blood against archrival Philippine Air Force, 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-19, Saturday in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference men’s division best-of-three Finals series at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The HD Spikers moved a win closer to clinching the title in the fourth straight championship meeting of the two proud clubs since a trilogy of Finals showdowns in the Spikers’ Turf from 2015 to 2016.
Cignal can close out the series on Tuesday. If needed, Game 3 is on Thursday.
Lorenzo Capate led Cignal’s assault with 11 attacks in his 15-point performance while Mark Alfafara nailed 13 points including four from the service line that frustrated the defense of the Jet Spikers.
It was a sweet win for the HD Spikers after absorbing an emphatic sweep at the hands of Air Force in the elimination round. Cignal also lost two straight Finals duels with the Jet Spikers last year.
“’Yung first set kasi alam mo naman ang psychological effect na for the past ilang seasons hindi sila nananalo sa Air Force. So ang tendency nila madaliin ang sarili nila,” said Cignal coach Oliver Almadro. “Now noong naka-recover, naka-relax na, they believed in each other, they trusted each other so doon na namin nakuha ang momentum.”
“I’m not taking this out from Air Force. They are really a strong team. Advantage na advantage sila. Ang advantage lang ng team ko ay teamwork at tiwala nila sa isa’t isa,” he added.
Peter Torres added 11 points while skipper Ysay Marasigan had an all-around game for the HD Spikers with 10 points all from attacks and nine excellent receptions.
National University standouts Bryan Bagunas and Kim Malabunga scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Jet Spikers while Ranran Abdilla had 12.
Meanwhile, Sta. Elena neared a consolation third place trophy after defeating Philippine Army, 18-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18, in their best-of-three series opener.
Edward Camposano had 16 points while Berlin Paglinawan and Evan Raymundo finished with 14 and 11 markers, respectively, for the Wrecking Balls.
Romnick Rico had 18 points while Lemuel Arbastro scored 13 for the Troopers.
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