HD Spikers prime up for title duel
MANILA, Philippines - Cignal repulsed Instituto Estetico Manila, 25-18, 25-22, 25-21, yesterday to prime itself up for a showdown with PLDT-Air Force in the PLDT Home-Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference men’s volleyball finals at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The HD Spikers seized control early then thwarted IEM’s repeated comebacks to fashion out the win before their titular duel in the men’s division of the inter-club tournament supported by PLDT Home DSL and backed by Mikasa, Asics, Mueller Tapes, Jinling Sports Equipment, LGR, Bench and Healthway Medical.
Cignal closed out its campaign in the double-round preliminaries with six wins and two losses, giving it a strong morale-boost before facing PLDT-Air Force in the title match on Saturday.
“It’s a morale-boost. It would be hard for us to be playing in the championship coming from a loss,” said Cignal coach Michael Carino.
Howard Mojica and Adam Daquer delivered the goods as they finished with 14 and 12 points, respectively for the HD Spikers.
Earlier, Petron held on in all three sets and frustrated Cagayan Valley, 25-22, 25-19, 25-23, to clinch fifth place in women’s play.
Dindin Santiago punched in 21 attacks and made six blocks for a 30-hit output as the Blaze Spikers wound up fifth after blowing an impressive 3-0 start with a shaky windup in the elims.
“Not bad,” said Petron coach George Pascua. “We simply peaked too soon. We were looking good at the start but a lot of things happened. But we will work on our flaws during the off-season so we can come back stronger next conference.”
Cagayan Valley ended up sixth in the tournament supported by PLDT Home DSL and organized by Sports Core with Solar Sports as official broadcast partner.
Generika-Army and RC Cola-Air Force will dispute the crown in sudden death this Saturday.
Santiago, the 6-foot-2 MVP frontrunner, played hot right from the opening serve, coming through with a flurry of hot smashes while holding her own in defense to stymie the Rising Suns hitters.
The Blaze Spikers raced to a 17-9 lead in the first set and never looked back.
Janine Marciano finished with 17 points while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas had 14 markers for the Rising Suns, who fell short of their target of surpassing their fourth-place finish last conference of the event backed by Mikasa, Asics, Mueller Tapes, Jinling Sports Equipment, LGR, Bench and Healthway Medical.