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Air Force clinches bronze after dubbing Cignal in Game Two

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In stark contrast to Game One of the battle for third place, the Air Force Airmen waltzed past the Cignal HD Spikers in straight sets, 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 and picked up a bronze medal finish in the Spikers’ Turf Men’s Volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying-V Arena.

While the Airmen needed five sets to rid themselves of the HD Spikers’ in Game One, it was a different story for the second game, as Cignal played seemingly deflated volleyball in today’s match as they broke down in the latter parts of each set. Air Force ribbed Cignal in the attacking department, 46-35. Jeffrey Malabanan fueled the Air Force attack with 17 markers while NU’s Edwin Tolentino followed close by with 14 points. Named the tournament’s Best Setter, Air Force’s Jessie Lopez put on a fantastic display of playmaking, notching 29 excellent sets in his biggest match of the conference.

“Malaking tulong sa amin na nakalaro ‘yung mga bata (Tolentino and Rueben Inaudito) kasi marami akong player na nag-uundergo ng Basic Military Training. Kaya ‘di ko rin masasabi na ineexpect ko na mananalo kami ng bronze this tournament,” said Air Force head coach, Rhovyl Verayo about his veteran laden team.

Air Force had several players miss the conference, most notably powerful open hitter Ran Abdilla, due to training with Air Force. Still Air Force managed to take down most of their opponents but were winless against both PLDT and Cagayan.

Playing through an ankle injury, Cignal’s Edmar Bonono was the only HD Spiker who sniffed double-digits with 10 points. Cignal team captain, Jay Dela Cruz paced the Cignal offense with nine points while the tournament’s First Best Middle Blocker, Reyson Fuentes garnered seven markers.

The Scores

PAF (3) – Malabanan 17, Tolentino 14, Inaudito 12, Esteban 8, Alinsunurin 4, Lopez 3, Tajanlangit 0, Mosuela (L)

Cignal (0) – Bonono 10, Dela Cruz 9, Fuentes 7, Ramos 6, Christensen 4, Capate 2, Lansangan 2, Diezmo 1, Faytaren 1, Taneo 0, Montero (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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