Air Force pulls off surprise, takes Finals game 1 vs Cignal | Inquirer Sports
Spikers' Turf

Air Force pulls off surprise, takes Finals game 1 vs Cignal

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 06:42 PM November 21, 2015

Airforce on the attack. Photo from Spikers' Turf Facebook account

Airforce on the attack. Photo from Spikers’ Turf Facebook account

Philippine Air Force caught Cignal HD by surprise to seize the series opener of their Spikers’ Turf Season 1 Reinforced Conference Finals on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.

“They didn’t expect to see Edwin (Tolentino) on the floor,’’ said Air Force coach Rhovyl Verayo after the Airmen scored a 25-15, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19 win at the start of their best-of-three finale.


Verayo pulled a surprise package in Tolentino, the Airmen’s prized outside hitter who missed their last five games due to a shoulder injury.


“When they (HD Spikers) prepared for this game, I’m sure Edwin wasn’t part of the strategy,’’ said Verayo.

Tolentino’s unexpected appearance opened up avenues for fellow hitters Rodolfo Labrador and Jeffrey Malabanan, whose kill at match point doomed the HD Spikers.

Malabanan had 15 hits, Labrador added nine while Reyson Fuentes had five blocks and two service aces.

Couldn’t get their A-game going, Cignal found the Air Force defense impenetrable and had no answer to the power smashes of the Airmen.

Edmar Bonono had 18 points and Lorenzo Capate added 12 hits for the HD Spikers.

“I’m sure, Cignal will make some adjustments in Game 2. We’ll be ready for them,’’ said Verayo.


In the other game, Mark Gil Alfafara displayed the flair of an MVP by powering PLDT Home Ultera to a 25-14, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19 win over Philippine Navy in Game 1 of their best-of-three series for third place.

Alfafara, who was named 1st best outside spiker and conference MVP, had 20 points, 17 of them violent kills at the net while Kheeno Franco added 12 points and three service aces. Razzel Palisoc had 16 points for Navy.

Nur Amin Madsairi of Navy was awarded 2nd best outside spiker, Peter Torres of PLDT 1st best middle blocker, Reyson Fuentes 2nd middle blocker and Ruben Inaudito of Air Force best opposite spiker during the awarding ceremony prior to the championship opener.

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Sandy Domenick Montero and Glacy Ralph Diezmo of Cignal were adjudged best libero and setter of the conference.

TAGS: Air Force, Cignal, Finals, HD Spikers, spikers’ turf, Sports, Volleyball

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