HD Spikers face tough challenge vs. Troopers
Mark Escarlote on Jul 11, 2017 03:52 PM
Philippine Army is out to start a winning streak against three straight win-seeking Cignal.
Cignal seeks to extend its winning streak to three and for a share of the lead in a litmus test against Philippine Army Wednesday in the men’s division of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Reinforced Conference title-holders hurdled their first two assignments to occupy the second spot behind league-leading Mega Builders (3-0).
National team member Mark Gil Alfafara dropped 18 points while skipper Ysay Marasigan and Lorenzo Capate scored 17 and 16 markers, respectively, in the HD Spikers’ 25-22, 21-25, 25-23, 25-20, win over Sta. Elena last Saturday.
The trio are again tipped to lead Cignal when it marches into battle at 10:00 a.m. before the showdown of Instituto Estetico Manila and winless Gamboa Coffee slated at 1:00 p.m. and will air via livestream.
But the HD Spikers should brace for a tough fight with the Troopers looking to carry the momentum of their first win in the tournament after two outings.
Army turned to team captain Benjaylo Labide to pull off an upset against Philippine Air Force, 25-20, 23-25, 17-25, 25-22, 16-14, last Sunday.
Labide scored 20 points in the Troopers’ bounce back win after an opening day five-set defeat at the hands of Mega Builders composed of current National University players.
Army and IEM are tied at fifth to sixth spots with 1-1 slates.
The Phoenix Volley Masters recovered from a straights sets setback against Sta. Elena in their tournament opener at the expense of struggling Café Lupe, 25-18, 27-25, 25-19, last Saturday.
Newcomer Gamboa Coffee is winless in two starts with its last defeat dealt by the Volley Bolts, 23-25, 11-25, 16-25, last Sunday.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles