MANILA, Philippines - PLDT-Air Force leaned on its core of national team players as it crushed Cignal, 25-21, 25-21, 25-21, last night to claim the men’s division championship of the 2014 PLDT Home DSL PSL All-Filipino Conference at the packed Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
There was no way the Jasper-Jimenez-mentored squad would lose the men’s title of the country’s premier club league as PLDT-Air Force made sure it completed a sweep of the tournament organized by Sports Core and supported by Mikasa, Asics, Mueller Tapes, Jinling Sports Equipment, LGR, Bench and Healthway Medical with Solar Sports as broadcast partner.
“We have always been under pressue in all our games and more so in this championship, but we were able to overcome this with our national players,” said Jimenez, who steered the Power Attackers to their second PSL crown after ruling last year’s Grand Prix with Francis Vicente at the helm.
Jimenez also guided the same squad to the gold medal in this year’s Philippine-Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Philippine National Games.
PLDT was never threatened as it leaned on the duo of top most valuable player candidate Alnakran Abdilla and Jeffrey Malabanan and silenced Cignal’s main spikers Jay dela Cruz and Gilbert Ablan.
It was only when the Power Attackers were leading 23-18 in the third and last set when the HD Spikers came up with three straight points that gave Jimenez some anxious moments.
PLDT moved to match point on a reception miscue by Cignal as Edmar Sanchez and Glacy Diezmo simultaneously went for the ball, which went out.
Alinsunurin then sealed the win as he tricked the HD Spikers’ defenders with a drop ball.
Abdilla paced PLDT with 18 points on 15 kills and two blocks while Malabanan added nine kills. Best Libero frontrunner Raffy Mosuela had nine excellent digs and 10 receptions.
Dela Cruz was Cignal’s top scorer with 10 behind eight attacks and two blocks.
In the battle for third, veterans Su Roces and Rubie de Leon helped PLDT to a 25-17, 18-25, 25-18, 25-23 win over rookie team AirAsia Zest.