Unbeaten Cignal scored an expected 25-21, 25-17, 25-17 romp over VNS Volley Club but Army and Air Force hacked out a pair of five-set thrillers to bolster their respective Final Four bids in the Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila last Tuesday.
The HD Spikers banked on their power and solid blocking to dominate the VNS Griffins, pumping in 40 spikes against their rivals’ 32-hit effort and came out of the match without yielding a point on kill blocks while producing six of their own to complete the one-hour rout for their sixth straight victory.
The Air Force Jet Spikers and Army Troopers, on the other hand, provided the excitement lacking in the Cignal-VNS duel with the former stopping the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters, 24-26, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 15-6, to move to solo third at 5-1, in the country’s premier men’s league organized by Sports Vision.
Army proved steadier than Navy and pulled off a 25-12, 19-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12 escape to join PLDT at fourth at 5-2. The Navy Sea Lions dropped to 4-3 in a tie with the idle Sta. Elena Ball Hammers.
Skipper Patrick Rojas unloaded a 21-hit game while Michael Reyes backed him up with a 11 points as the Army Troopers beat the Sea Lions in spikes, 49-41, and pounced on their rivals’ shaky service reception to net nine aces against Navy’s five.
The Sea Lions, who drew a pair of 13 pointers from Greg Dolor and Kurl Rosete, edged the Troopers in blocks, 6-5.
Bryan Bagunas and Alnakran Abdilla combined for a whopping 56-hit game as the Jet Spikers clobbered the Power Hitters in spikes, 68-51, and came away with 13 aces against their foes’ seven. Both teams cancelled out in kill blocks with seven apiece.
Mark Alfafara fired 17 points while Paolo Pablico and John Vic de Guzman added 16 and 11 markers, respectively, but the Power Hitters failed to neutralize Bagunas, who blasted in 26 attack points out of 51 attempts and finished with six aces, and Abdilla, who went 19-of-38 in attacks for a 26-point effort.