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Cignal weathers the PLDT storm, opens conference on high note

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The Cignal HD Spikers took care of business in the opening day of their Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference run, sweeping the PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Spikers in three difficult sets, 25-21, 25-21, 25-19, Sunday afternoon at the San Juan Arena.

Cignal opened the first set sluggishly, trailing early 2-1. The team was able to quickly recover, outscoring PLDT 9-2 to take a 10-4 advantage behind the powerful spikes of Lorenzo Capate, Edward Ybanez, and Edmar Bonono. PLDT played catch-up all through out the set, and with the help of former UST Tiger, Mark Alfafara, they got to as close as 3, 24-21. The cushion that the HD Spikers built early on proved more than enough for them to take a 1-0 set lead.

Cignal blitzed PLDT for an early 3-0 lead to start the second set. They did just enough defensively, capitalizing on PLDT’s errors to build their lead to 5, 10-5. PLDT tried multiple times to stage a come-back, but Cignal always found an answer to every run. Time eventually ran out for PLDT, as Cignal put the finishing touches to hold a commanding 2-0 set lead.

The third set played out just like the first 2 sets, with Cignal taking a small early lead and fending off the PLDT onslaught afterwards. Alfafara tried and tried to provide the spark for his team and extend the game, but the defense of Cignal proved too much.

Cignal’s Capate led all scorers with 15 points, netting 14 via attacks and notching a single block. Ybanez and Bonono helped with the offense to the tune of 10 points each.

For PLDT, Alfafara was the only player in double digits with 13 points. Kheeno Franco pitched in 9, while Henry Pecana scored 6.

As a team, PLDT was slightly better in scoring through attacks, 42, to Cignal’s 40. Cignal, however had 10 more total blocks, 48-38, scoring on 8 of them compared to PLDT’s 4. PLDT also committed more errors, 26, while Cignal only had 15.

The HD Spikers’ next opponent will be the Philippine Air Force Raiders on October 17, 3pm at the San Juan Arena. PLDT, on the other hand, will attempt to add a win to their record when they go against San Roque on the same day, at 5pm.

The Scores:

Cignal (3) – Capate 15, Ybanez 10, Bonono 10, Faytaren 7, Ramos 6, Diezmo 1, Montero (L)

PLDT (0) – Alfafara 13, Franco 9, Pecana 6, Galang 5, Paglinawan 4, Ramos 4, Torres 2, Torres 2, Mangulabnan 1, Longavela (L), Mangaring (L)

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