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Cignal, Air Force in Game 1

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Games Today
(Philsports Arena, Pasig City)
1 p.m. – Champion vs IEM
(men’s third place)
3 p.m. – Cignal vs Air Force
(men’s finals)
6 p.m. – Customs vs BaliPure (women’s semis)

Defending champion Cignal and Air Force start their best-of-three championship duel today in the Spikers’ Turf even as Customs and BaliPure clash for the remaining finals berth in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The HD Spikers and the Jet Spikers take centerstage at 3 p.m., making it the third time that the two teams would be facing each other for the men’s volleyball crown.

Both Cignal and Air Force swept their semifinal rivals in their respective best-of-three affairs, with the HD Spikers routing the Champion Supra Spikers, 25-20, 25-19, 25-20, and the Jet Spikers besting Instituto Estetico Manila, 23-25, 25-16, 25-12, 25-17, last Monday.

Cignal and Air Force, however, are eager to settle the score against one another after tying their head-to-head record in their previous two championship meetings.

Cignal won last year’s conference, but Air Force got back at them by ruling the Open Conference early this year.
“I’m confident na kaya namin,” said Cignal Coach Macky Cariño. “We just need to prepare well para ma-execute yung game plans namin.”

“Magkakatalo lang kami dun sa kung sino ang mas gutom sa panalo. Sa tingin ko kasi, parehas na pantay lang yung lineup naming dalawa,” added Air Force Mentor Rhovyl Verayo.

In Shakey’s V-League, Customs seeks to keep the momentum in its favor after extending their best-of-three semis series with a 25-19, 15-25, 25-20, 25-17 Game 2 victory over BaliPure last Monday.

Two-time Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez posted 27 points in that match for the BoC Transformers, while Thai import Som Kuthaisong added 19 points to avenge their 25-19, 25-18, 25-21 Game 1 defeat.

“Kahit anong mangyari, point man or hindi, pinaglaban talaga namin dun sa Game 2. So that’s the character na we really have to bring going to the third game,” said Valdez.

As for BaliPure, setter Kayle Manns and Katie Morrell expected her team to adjust quickly after failing to recover from a first-set loss in Game 2.

“They outplayed us right from the start. There were opportunities for us to adjust, but we didn’t take them in the game,” said Manns.

The winner of the Customs-BaliPure match will face Pocari Sweat in the best-of-three finals starting on Saturday.

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