HD Spikers claim PVL Reinforced Conference men's crown
Mark Escarlote on Jun 13, 2017 03:26 PM
Cignal claims the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference men's division crown.
Cignal braced for Philippine Air Force’s desperate push to extend the series but the HD Spikers firmly held their ground and claimed the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference men’s division crown.
The HD Spikers survived a scare from the Jet Spikers, 17-25, 27-25, 27-25, 16-25, 15-10, Tuesday to complete a sweep of the best-of-three Finals series at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Cignal broke open a tight 2-2 tie at the start of the deciding set with a telling scoring spurt for a 6-2 lead. The Jet Spikers countered with a run of their own to close the gap, 8-7, behind Bryan Bagunas’ sharp cross.
The HD Spikers created a four-point separation, 11-7, coming from a couple of sorry miscues by Air Force. Jet Spikers setter Jessie Lopez sealed a two-point counter by Air Force to chop their deficit, 11-9.
Finals Most Valuable Player Lorenzo Capate sparked a three-point swing capped by a Mark Alfafara off the block kill to put Cignal at match point.
Conference Most Valuable Player Ranran Abdilla saved a match point before HD Spikers team captain Ysay Marasigan sealed the championship with a combination play.
“Again and again I just told them combined talent with effort and believe that they will win so ‘yun ang nangyari,” said Cignal rookie coach Oliver Almadro of his wards composure and focus in the fifth set.
Alfafara scored all of his 17 points from attacks while Ateneo star Rex Intal also finished with 17 markers coming off 11 kills, four kill blocks and a pair of aces for the HD Spikers.
Peter Torres and Marasigan had 13 and 12 markers, respectively, for Cignal, which won in four sets 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-19 in the series opener.
The win evened the Finals head-to-head of the two proud teams to two tournaments apiece. Cignal won the 2015 Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference before Air Force took the league’s Open and Reinforced titles the following year.
Bagunas finished with 23 points, Abdilla had 17 while Kim Malabunga and Fauzi Ismail chipped in with 11 points each for the Jet Spikers.
Meanwhile, Army took the third place trophy after sweeping Sta. Elena, 26-24, 25-18, 25-19, in Game 2 of their battle for bronze series.
The Troopers took the podium finish because of a higher FIVB tiebreak. The Wrecking Balls took Game 1 in four sets.
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