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Spikers’: PAF takes Game 1

Air Force flaunted its vaunted all-around game against fancied Cignal with a dominant 25-19, 25-16, 25-19 victory yesterday to take Game 1 of their best-of-three title series in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Open Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Jet Spikers, coming off a two-game sweep of Instituto Estetico Manila (IEM) in the semis, quickly imposed their will starting the opening set while taking advantage of the HD Spikers’ attack errors to move a win away from snaring their first crown in the tournament.

Air Force’s win not only ended Cignal’s seven-game winning streak since the eliminations but also foiled the latter’s bid of a title sweep.

It also avenged their 25-16, 25-19, 21-25, 25-16 loss to Cignal in the elims last June 4.

Fauzi Ismail steered the Jet Spikers with 21 points built on 16 kills and five blocks, while Howard Mojica also stepped up with 11 points, all from attacks.

Veteran setter Jessie Lopez also played a vital role with series of combination plays and finished with 37 excellent sets.

After losing their steam in the first two sets, Cignal kept the match close in the third frame by tying the game at 16-all.

But Air Force became more aggressive by firing at all angles and providing solid net defense to gain a 21-17 edge.

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