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They meet again: Cignal, Air Force tango in Finals anew

For the third time in four conferences, the Cignal HD Spikers and Philippine Air Force Airmen meet for the 2016 Spikers’ Turf title after sweeping their respective Reinforced Conference semifinals series, earlier today at the PhilSports Arena.

The HD Spikers pulled significant contributions from their entire starting six to thrash Champion Supra Spikers, 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 in Game Two.

Three HD Spikers scored in double-digits led by veteran open hitter Saku Capate’s 12 points, Ysay Marasigan’s 11, and Raymark Woo’s 10 markers.

The match was a stark difference from their grueling Game One duel, which lasted five sets, as Champion’s attack dwindled late in each set.

In the latter match, Air Force needed an off-the-bench boost from Bryan Bagunas to move past the IEM Volley Masters, 23-25, 25-16, 25-12, 25-17.

The National University standout pitched in 21 points, all of which he scored in the latter three sets, to power Air Force to the Finals.

Former Spikers’ Turf MVP Mark Alfafara added 18 markers, while Howard Mojica managed 13.

Since the inception of the league, Air Force and Cignal have met in the Finals constantly, splitting the last two conferences.

Both squads are eager to settle the score in another best-of-three series.

“Matagal na din kaming hindi nananalo against Air Force but I’m confident na kaya namin. We just need to prepare well at magkapag-execute kapag nasa game namin,” said Cignal head coach Michael Cariño.

“Kung titignan mo kasi ang lineup ng Cignal, all-star din ang lineup nila kaya pantay-pantay lang sa players. Nasa kagustuhan na lang manalo yan magkakataluhan,” declared Air Force head coach Rhovyl Verayo.

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Game One begins on Wednesday, 12:30 pm at the PhilSports Arena.

First Game

Cignal (3) – Capate 12, Marasigan 11, Woo 10, Torres 7, Castel 5, Ramos 5, Ybanez 5, Mangulabnan 2, Diezmo 0, Montero (L)

Champion (0) – Mandani 10, Onia 7, Camaganakan 5, Paglinawan 5, Honrade 4, Dumago 4, Jose 1, Asia 1, Frey 1, Hu 0, Relata 0, Mangaring (L)

Second Game

Air Force (3) – Bagunas 23, Alfafara 18, Mojica 13, Malabanan 7, Fuentes 4, Jerus 3, Labrador 3, Inaudito 2, Lopez 2, Tolentino 2, Avila 0, De Ocampo 0, Chavez (L)

IEM (1) – Torres 9, Canlas E. 7, Canlas J. 7, Franco 6, Arbasto 4, Valenzuela 4, Molate 2, Vicena 2, Lozada 1, Ramos (L)

Written By

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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