• HD Spikers stop Volley Bolt, nail PVL Open crown



    Foiled in its sweep bid, Cignal TV came back strong in the fourth and hacked out a 25-23, 25-17, 22-25, and 25-22 victory over Mega Builders in sudden death to capture the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference crown at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan on Wednesday.

    Vince Mangulabnan set up Peter Torres for a quick attack then Ysay Marasigan foiled Fauzi Ismail’s spike to finish off the Volley Bolt and nail their second straight championship in the league organized by Sports Vision after dominating the Air Force Jet Spikers in the Open Conference last June.

    “They believed in the system and then showed their maturity,” said Cignal TV coach Oliver Almadro, who wards took the opener of their best-of-three series, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19, 25-17, but the Volley Bolt forced a decider with an 18-25, 25-23, 26-24, 22-25, 15-13 victory in Game 2.

    The National U-backed Volley Bolt actually made quite an impression in the elims which they swept then dominated the Jet Spikers in the semis to earn a crack at the champion on their maiden season in the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.

    “I did not expect this championship in this conference. We know NU is much way ahead than us,” said Almadro.

    But the HD Spikers got going when the going got tough, easing out the Sta. Elena Wrecking Ball in the semis then taking the finals series’ opener in four.

    Stung by their first loss, the Volley Bolt struck back and even displayed grace under pressure in pulling off the Game 2 win in five, only to succumb to the HD Spikers’ superb all-around game in the decider.

    The HD Spikers actually trailed, 15-17, in the fourth set but Saku Capate, who later won the FInals MVP plum, rallied the team with his power hits. He finished with 16 points, including 15 kills.

    Skipper Marasigan top-scored with 17 points, including the championship-clincher, while Edmar Bonono and Peter Torres added 12 and 11 markers, respectively, for Cignal TV.

    Ismail paced the Volley Bolt with 21 points while Kim Malabunga scored 14 markers.

    Earlier, Air Force held off Sta. Elena, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23, in their rubber match for third place.



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