The Cignal HD Spikers have taken Game One of the best-of-three semifinals series, staving off the Champion Supra Smashers, 26-28, 25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 16-14, in the Spikers’ Turf Season Two Reinforced Conference at the PhilSports Arena.
From 22-19 lead, a monstrous spike from Peter Torres stopped the run of their opponents. Champion kept forcing errors through their solid defense to knot the set at 23-23. The HD Spikers weren’t able to convert their two match points, as Mike Frey and Arjay Onia smashed back-to-back, down-the-line kills to level the set, 25-25. Cignal saved one of their own before the Supra Smashers won the first set via double block, 28-26.
Down 17-10, Champion attempted to duplicate the set with another late spree when they trimmed down Cignal’s advantage to just four points, 20-16. This time, however, the HD Spikers did not allow the Supra Spikers any momentum, as Raymark Woo touched off the rally with a kill block to clinch set two, 25-18.
The Smashers’ defense stepped up in the third set, limiting the defending champions to just 17 points.
Down 2-1, the HD Spikers played like a team who had gone 4-1 in the elims as Woo ended the fourth set to send the match into a deciding fifth.
Cignal denied the attackers of Champion twice for an early 8-5 lead. Despite that, Rocky Honrade and Onia put up points for their team en route to a 14-14 deadlock. However, the firepower of the HD Spikers proved to be too much, and Cignal eventually earned the win after Joven Camaganakan sent his spike into the net.
Lorenzo Capate produced 19 points and 17 excellent receptions. Three other HD Spikers also scored in double figures, as Ysay Marasigan finished with 15, Woo had 13, and Torres fired 11.
Camaganakan led the losing side with 25 points. Paglinawan tallied 14 and Onia with 13.
The Game Two of the match-up between Champion and Cignal HD will be on November 5, Monday. – Ezekiel Mendoza
Cignal (3) – Capate 19, Marasigan 15, Woo 13, Torres 11, Bonono 8, Castel 7, Ramos 4, Diezmo 2, Calasin 2, Faytaren 2, Mangulabnan 0, Montero (L)
Champion (2) – Camaganakan 25, Paglinawan 14, Onia 13, Honrade 6, Asia G. 4, Frey 4, Jose 3, Dumago 1, Relata 1, Mandani 0, Del Pilas 0, Hu 0, Movido (L), Mangaring (L)