• Air Force soars past Cignal, rules Spikers’ Turf

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    Air Force used its power and solid floor defense to frustrate Cignal, overcoming an opening set setback and fashioning out a 20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22 victory to post a second straight sweep of the Spikers’ Turf crown at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Saturday.

    Bryan Bagunas bettered his 24-hit effort in their thrilling five-set escape in the opener of their best-of-three series with a stirring 27-point game while Mark Alfafara backed him up with 21 hits as the Air Spikers reasserted their might from the second set to repeat over the HD Spikers in one-hour and 37 minutes of power game.

    Jessie Lopez also put up a sterling 53-set performance to fuel their offense while libero Louie Chavez produced 14 digs with Bagunas also flaunting his superb defensive skills by coming up with eight digs.

    Air Force finished with 41 excellent digs, 10 more than Cignal.

    Bagunas also went on to bag the Finals MVP honors.

    Air Force, which also swept Cignal to claim the Open Conference crown early this year, thus avenged its final setback to Cignal last year when the Air Spikers took Game 1 only to lose the next two.

    The power-hitting Howard Mojica, earlier named the conference MVP, and Reyson Fuentes settled for a pair of seven-point hits as Bagunas and Alfafara took turns in hammering the HD Spikers net and floor defense.

    For a while, Cignal looked headed to forcing a rubber match after an impressive first set showing. But the HD Spikers failed to neutralize the Air Spikers’ surge in the second frame and lost steam at endgame of the last two sets.

    Ysrael Marasigan blasted in 18 hits while Lorenzo Capate Jr. and Edmar Bonono combined for 24 points and Peter Torres added eight points for Cignal, which actually matched Air Force’s eight blocks and just fell one ace less that its rival.

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