HD Spikers, Volley Bolt near Finals showdown
Mark Escarlote on Aug 05, 2017 03:40 PM
Lorenzo Capate of Cignal hits an attack away from the block attempt of Francis Basilan of Sta. Elena.
Powerhouse teams Cignal and Mega Builders moved a win away from forging a championship showdown after hurdling their respective semifinals opponents in contrasting fashion Saturday in the men’s division of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The top seed HD Spikers recovered just in time from a third set meltdown to turn back the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls, 25-16, 25-16, 20-25, 25-18, in Game 1 of the best-of-three series.
Skipper Ysay Marasigan blasted 14 spikes, two aces and a kill block for a 17-point performance while Rex Intal and Lorenzo Capate added 13 markers each for Cignal, which uncorked 59 attack points compared to 38 of the Wrecking Balls. Peter Torres finished with 10 points for the HD Spikers, who raced to a huge 22-13 gap in the fourth to douse cold water to the Wrecking Balls comeback attempt.
After dominating Sta. Elena in the first two frames, Cignal saw its 14-10 lead evaporate after the Wrecking Balls mounted a scorcing rally to take a 15-14 advantage. Marasigan tied it at 16 but Sta. Elena again took the driver’s seat and held on to extend the match.
Isaah Arda was the lone Sta. Elena player in double digits with 13 points while Joven Camaganakan and Berlin Paglinawan scored eight each.
Meanwhile, Mega Builders needed to comeback from two sets down to get past Philippine Air Force, 19-25, 16-25, 25-20, 26-24, 15-10, for a 1-0 series lead.
National team member Bryan Bagunas announced his return by banging in 20 points for the Volley Bolt.
Bagunas, who skipped two games in the elimination round to join the Nationals in a 13-day training camp in Suwon, South Korea as preparation for the 29th Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games later this month, had 14 spikes and six aces for the Mega Builders.
Francis Saura added 18 markers while Fauzi Ismail and Kim Malabunga got 16 and 10 points each for the Volley Bolt.
Mega Builders and Cignal can formalize their entry in the best-of-three championship series on Sunday.
Jeffrey Malabanan and Howard Mojica finished with 16 points each for the Jet Spikers.
Game 3, if needed, is on Wednesday.
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