PLDT Home Ultera overcame a first-set stumble and strung up three set wins in close fashions to hack out a 16-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-23 victory over Cagayan Valley yesterday in a preview of their championship showdown in the inaugural Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
9 a.m. – Air Force vs Cignal (best of 3 for third)
3 p.m. – PLDT vs Cagayan (best of 3 for crown)
The Ultra Fast Spikers lost to the Rising Suns in their spiking duel, 46-48, but won their battle in blocks, 11-9, and in serves, 6-4, to snatch victory and gain some momentum heading to the start of their best-of-three title series on Sunday.
Howard Mojica rammed in 14 attacks to finish with 18 hits while Vic De Guzman and Mark Alfafara combined for 25 points as the Ultra Fast Spikers completed their sweep of the single round semis of the league presented by PLDT Home Ultera and backed by Mikasa.
UAAP MVP Marck Espejo played true to form and hammered in 19 hits, including 17 on attacks, while Rex Intal and Peter Torres fired 11 hits apiece for the Rising Suns, who also hope to flaunt their hitting prowess and plug the holes in some departments come Sunday.
Earlier, Cignal held off Air Force to fashion out a 29-27, 25-14, 28-26 victory in their own preview of their battle for third place.
Red Christensen fired 10 hits, including nine on attacks, while Reyson Fuentes, Herschel Ramos and Bonjomar Castel came through with eight points apiece and Lorenzo Capate Jr. and skipper Jay dela Cruz added seven and six hits for the HD Spikers, who produced 50 attacks and nine blocks as against their rivals 44 and five, respectively.
Ruben Inaudito and Jhimson Merza churned out 10 hits each while Jeffrey Malabanan and Edwin Tolentino tossed in nine and eight points, respectively, but the Airmen failed to sustain their fightbacks in the first and third sets.
Meanwhile, the Air Force-Cignal clash will be shown on PTV 4 starting at 10:30 tonight while the PLDT-Cagayan duel will be aired tomorrow, according to the organizing Sports Vision.(pr)