PVL: Jet Spikers draw first blood

Mark Escarlote on Jul 08, 2018 10:06 PM
PVL: Jet Spikers draw first blood
Philippine Air Force escaped a five-set match to draw first blood in their championship series.

Philippine Air Force displayed solid net defense in the deciding frame to outlast defending champion Cignal, 22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 30-28, 15-8, and inch closer to claiming the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference men’s title Sunday at the MOA Arena.

The Jet Spikers took HD Spikers top hitter Marck Espejo out of the equation in the fifth set with their superb coverage at the net led by Ranran Abdilla, who scored six points in the deciding frame including the match-clinching back-to-back kill blocks.

Air Force came out firing on all cylinders in the fifth set, racing to a 9-2 lead. The HD Spikers nipped their deficit to 12-8 before Fauzi Ismail scored on an off the block hit.

Abdilla blocked Peter Torres in the next play before shutting down the door on Espejo to seal the win.

Bryan Bagunas finished with 25 points – all but one coming off kills - to lead the Jet Spikers while Abdilla had 22 markers built on 16 attacks, five kill blocks and an ace.

Ismail got 11 points while skipper Jeffrey Malabanan and Reyson Fuentes chipped in with nine markers each for Air Force.     

“At least advantage namin ang first game pero wala pa ring kumpyansa, nakita naman natin ang laban halos lahat ng set dikit. Noong fifth set na lang kami nag-pull away,” said Air Force coach Rhovyl Verayo. “Gumana ang blocking namin noong fifth set. Noong first set kasi tinitignan ko ‘yung team ko stiff na stiff sa loob eh, talagang pressure eh.”

Espejo posted 27 points but was scoreless in the fifth set for Cignal. Ysay Marasigan and Rex Intal got 15 and 10 markers, respectively.

Game 2 of the best-of-three series is on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Vice Co. defeated PLDT Home Fibr, 17-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-23, in the battle for third series opener.

JP Bugaoan led the Blockbusters with 11 points while Richard Solis had 10.

Henry Pecana scored 19 while Mark Alfafara got 13 for  the Ultra Fast Hitters.



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