Defending champion Air Force and Cignal outlasted their respective rivals yesterday and arranged a championship showdown in the Premier Volleyball League men’s tournament at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The Jet Spikers recovered from a two-set meltdown and bested the Army Troopers, 24-26, 21-25, 25-20, 25-21, 15-9, while the HD Spikers outhustled the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls, 27-25, 24-26, 25-16, 26-24, to forge a best-of-three finals series in the annual tournament.
This marks the fourth time that Air Force and Cignal will be facing each other for the title.
The HD Spikers prevailed in the inaugural Reinforced Conference two years ago before the Jet Spikers won their next two title meetings last year.
Game 1 of the series is set tomorrow also at the same venue.
National University standouts Bryan Bagunas and Fauzi Ismail spearheaded Air Force’s assault with 25 and 18 points as they combined for 35 attacks.
The trio of Lorenzo Capate, Peter Torres, and Ysay Marasigan, meanwhile, conspired with 34 points for Cignal, which withstood Sta. Elena’s fightback in the fourth frame.
Trailing 10-4, Capate, Torres and Marasigan shattered their rivals’ defense time and again with heavy spikes to lead the team’s uprising.
Overall, Sta. Elena struggled with 36 errors compared to Cignal’s 20.