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PAF wins Spikers’ Turf

Philippine Air Force recovered from a tight start before it dethroned defending champion Cignal, 20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22, yesterday to capture the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Reinforced Conference title at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Jet Spikers needed two match points before Reyson Fuentes sealed the win with a quick center spike to also sweep their best-of-three championship affair.

In Game 1 last Wednesday, Air Force threaded through the eye of the needle before clinching the victory, 25-23, 25-19, 19-25, 25-27, 15-12.

The win was sweeter for Air Force as it avenged its last year’s runner-up finish to Cignal while also claiming its second straight title since winning the Open Conference crown against the same rival early this year.

Bryan Bagunastook the spotlight for the Jet Spikers by firing 27 points built on 24 kills, two blocks and one ace.

Bagunas, who was later adjudged as the Finals Most Valuable Player, made his presence felt in the second set where he and Mark Alfafara lifted up Air Force from a 7-4 deficit to a set victory.

Air Force Coach Rhovyl Verayo said the victory paid off after the crucial trainings they did the past weeks.

“Nagpasalamat naman ako mga bata kasi nagtiyaga sila. Simula nung talo namin sa Champion, kinulong ko talaga yang mga yan eh. Puro training lang talaga,” said Verayo.

Former Ateneo standout Ysay Marasigan and Lorenzo Capate Jr. led Cignal with 18 and 13 points, respectively, including combined 27 spikes, but Air Force’s combination plays were tough to defend.

Meanwhile, individual awardees include Air Force’s Howard Mojica (Conference MVP and First Best Outside Spiker) and Jessie Lopez (Best Setter); Cignal’s Lorenzo Capate Jr. (Second Best Outside Spiker), Peter Torres (Second Best Middle Blocker), and Sandy Montero (Best Libero); Instituto Estetico Manila’s Kheeno Franco (First Best Middle Blocker); and Champion Supra’s Jan Berlin Paglinawan (Best Opposite Spiker).