PVL: HD Spikers book return ticket to the Finals
Cignal booked a return trip into the Finals after crushing sister-team PLDT Home Fibr.
Repeat-seeking Cignal needed to hang tough in the extended third set to suppress the determined comeback attempt of PLDT Home Fibr to carve out a 25-23, 25-19, 33-31, win for the first Finals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference men’s division Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in san Juan.
The HD Spikers saved a couple of set points in the third frame before closing the best-of-three semifinals series for their third straight Finals appearance after dominating the same tournament and the Open Conference in the inaugural season last year.
Five-time UAAP Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo led the way for Cignal, which will wait for its championship rival between Philippine Air Force and Vice Co., with 22 points off 19 kills, three aces and a kill block while adding 12 excellent receptions and 10 digs.
Skipper Ysay Marasigan scored 12 of his 13 markers from attacks including the final match point advantage hit while Wendel Miguel got 12 points for the HD Spikers.
After controlling the first two sets, Cignal faced a desperate Ultra Fast Hitters in the third frame. PLDT held the set point advantage a couple of times with their last at 31-30.
The HD Spikers equalized on the next play before Marasigan scored off a backrow kill to put Cignal on top, 32-31. PLDT skipper John Vic De Guzman tried to force a deuce but was turned back by Cignal’s two-man block that sealed the one-hour, 35-minute match.
De Guzman was the only PLDT player in double figures with 14 points while Mark Alfafara, who had 24 points in the Ultra Fast Hitters’ Game 2 win, was held down to only five points.
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