by Kristel Satumbaga
(The Arena, San Juan City)
1 p.m. – Army vs IEM
Cignal turned to Mark Gil Alfafara and Peter Torres as it repulsed Sta. Elena, 25-14, 17-25, 25-19, 25-21, yesterday to clinch the No. 2 seeding in the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League men’s tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Alfafara, a national pool member, walloped 13 kills, swatted away three blocks and posted three service aces to finish with 19 points for the HD Spikers, who finished the eliminations tied with league-leader Air Force at 4-1.
Cignal, however, finished with a lower quotient compared to the Jet Spikers to settle at No. 2.
Torres also took charge of the HD Spikers with 12 points including 10 attacks, even as Lorenzo Capate contributed 11 points highlighted by two blocks.
Cignal dominated Sta. Elena on both ends by firing 52 spikes compared to its rival’s 45, and posting more blocks, 11-6.
Setter Vince Mangulabnan was also able to provide combination plays that shattered Sta. Elena’s floor defense and finished with 31 excellent sets.
The loss put Sta. Elena at third place with a 3-2 card, despite Edward Camposano and Berlin Paglinawan leading the squad with identical 14 points.
Both teams, however, will clash in the crossover best-of-three semifinals, while Air Force awaits the winner of tomorrow’s playoff match between Instituto Estetico Manila and Army at 1 p.m.
Both IEM and Army are tied at fourth to fifth places with similar 2-3 cards.
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