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Cignal evens record with dominating win over Army

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After dropping their first two games, the Cignal HD Spikers claimed their second straight victory; a dominating win over the dazed Army Troopers 25-21, 27-25, 25-21 in the inaugural season of the Spikers Turf at the San Juan Arena.

The HD Spikers made a living out of tracking down Army’s best attackers. Cignal wound up with 13 block kills, seven coming from NU’s Reyson Fuentes. Their service reception was also on point the entire as they recorded 39 excellent receptions to Army’s 27.

Cignal displayed their mastery of Army right from the first point, forcing the Troopers to shuffle their lineup immediately. Army had to replace open hitter and top scorer, Benjaylo Labide and setter Manolo Refugia with Edmar Oxciano and Nikki Depamaylo respectively. Their attempt to jump start the offense, however, was futile as Cignal took the set easily.

Oxciano caught fire early in the second set, scoring four straight points to break a six-all deadlock and give Army a 10-6 advantage. Cignal captain, Jay Dela Cruz made the most of his short stint on the court to lead a run that knotted the set at 10. From there, both teams struggled to take hold of the lead for extended periods. Army arrived at set point first after a PJ Rojas kill followed by an Oxciano block. However, Cignal’s Fuentes and Edmar Bonono responded by splitting two points, giving them the advantage at deuce. Pj Rojas tied the set again at 26, but his own service error led to a Bonono crosscourt stab that ended the set in Cignal’s favor.

Army fought hard in the final set but Cignal’s net defense brought them home easily. In the third set alone, Reyson Fuentes stuffed PJ Rojas’ attacks thrice in a run that gave Cignal a decisive four-point lead 14-10. Cignal prevented Army from claiming any break points from there and cruised to their second win.

Army and Cignal are now tied at third witb identical 2-2 records. Army looks to get back on track when it faces the red-hot PLDT on April 21 while Cignal’s winning looks to be in good shape as their next match will be against the floundering Cavite Patriots on April 23.

The Scores:

Cignal (3)– Fuentes 14, Capate 13, Bonono 12, Ramos 7, Lansangan 5, Castel 5, Dela Cruz 3, Bagalay 1, Taneo 0, Montero (L)

Army (0) – Rojas 15, Oxciano 11, Dolor 10, Depamaylo J. 4, Torres 3, Abdulmajid 2, Refugia 1, Depamaylo N. 1, Labide 0, Uy (L), Bayking (L)

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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