HD Spikers shoot for the title, series sweep of Jet Spikers
Mark Escarlote on Jun 13, 2017 12:27 AM
All eyes will be on Cignal's main scorers Lorenzo Capate and skipper Ysay Marasigan when the HD Spikers try to claim the PVL Reinforced Conference title against archrival Philippine Air Force.
Cignal looks to finish off Philippine Air Force and claim the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference men’s division title in Game 2 of their best-of-three Finals series Tuesday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Opening serve is at 12:00 noon. The match will air via livestream.
Trailing in their Finals head-to-head, 1-2, in their previous three championship showdowns in the Spikers’ Turf, the HD Spikers have a chance to even their epic club rivalry with a follow up win after their confidence-boosting series opener win.
With Lorenzo Capate and Mark Alfafara leading the way, Cignal connected with an 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-19, win last Saturday to draw first blood and put head coach Oliver Almadro on the brink of bagging his first club title.
But the mentor is wary of the Jet Spikers’ ability and heart to comeback especially with Air Force looking to capture their third straight crown after conquering the Spikers’ Turf’s Open Conference and Reinforced Conference last year. Cignal won the Reinforced Conference in the contests 2015 edition.
“Ang key for us to close this series ay unang-una is unity, pride and intensity. Trust sa isa’t isa,” said Almadro, the architect of Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles three-peat in the UAAP. “Ang skills nandyan na so we’ll just combine it with effort and hard prayers.”
Aside from Capate and Alfafara, who combined for 28 points the last time out, Cignal will also bank on Peter Torres, Rex Intal, Ysay Marasigan and ace setter Vince Mangulabnan.
Air Force is looking to write a different story and extend the series to a decider on Thursday.
But the Jet Spikers will need to squeeze out more from Bryan Bagunas, Ranran Abdilla, Kim Malabunga, Fauzi Ismail and veteran playmaker Jessie Lopez.
Sta. Elena, likewise, will try to pocket the consolation third place trophy against Philippine Army.
The Wrecking Balls prevailed over the Troopers, 18-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18, Saturday.
If the Finals series ends in two games and the battle for third is tied at 1-1, the third place winner will be decided via FIVB tiebreak.
Individual awards will be given after the Finals match.
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