With three players including their leading scorer training with the National Team in Korea, the Cignal HD Spikers still had enough firepower to take down the Air Force Jet Spikers in straight sets, 25-20, 25-21, 25-23, to maintain their second place standing in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
San Beda standout Saku Capate took the scoring lead for Cignal, who were without Mark Alfafara, Bonjomar Castel and Herschel Ramos, tallying 15 points, all coming off attacks. Skipper Ysay Marasigan added 11 markers.
For Cignal head coach Oliver Almadro, the match showed off his players willingness to step up when called upon.
“We were definitely ready. Mahirap mawalan ng players, but that’s why we have a team. My players showed that we are a deep team and everybody has the same goal which is to help each other,” Almadro said.
Cignal was deadly efficient on the serve, pounding on Air Force’s weakest passers to build big early leads. The HD Spikers faced their biggest challenge in the third set when a late spurt brought Air Force to within one, 21-20. Thanks to clutch transitions, however, Cignal pulled away and took the match without a deuce.
The HD Spikers (5-1) take on the IEM Volley Masters (2-3) on July 30.
Former National University Bulldogs Edwin Tolentino and Ben Inaudito led Air Force with nine and eight markers, respectively.
Air Force (4-2) ends their elimination round against the Mega Builders (6-0) on July 19.
Cignal (3) – Capate 15, Marasigan 11, Bonono 8, Torres 8, Intal 6, Mangulabnan 3, Fautaren 1, Villanueva 1, Diezmo 0, Ramos E. 0, Montero (L)
Air Force (0) – Tolentino 9, Inaudito 8, Jeruz 8, Mojica 6, Malabanan 5, Abria 3, Labrador 3, Avila 0, Dimaculangan 0, Chavez (L)