Cignal regained its status as the country’s premier men’s club after dethroning reigning champion Air Force, 17-25, 27-25, 27-25, 16-25, 15-10, in the Premier Volleyball League yesterday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The HD Spikers fought hard after a slow start and recovered from a fourth-set hiccup to turn back the Jet Spikers and sweep their best-of-three title series.
It was Cignal’s second title after winning the Reinforced Conference in 2015 also against the same foe and first crown after also losing to the same squad in two conferences last year.
But for coach Oliver Almadro it was a sweet win, having secured his first title outside of UAAP.
Almandro was the architect of Ateneo’s record three-peat.
Rex Intal and Mark Alfafara ledthe HD Spikers with 17 points each, including a combined 28 attacks from the team’s 60 spikes.
Intal also highlighted his performance with four blocks and two aces.
Peter Torres also provided ample support with 13 points, while Ysay Marasigan fired 12 points.
“I just gave them the confidence and the ‘always-believe’ attitude kasi even before I came in, malakas na naman talaga ang Cignal,” said Almadro, whose team prevailed in Game 1, 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-19, last Saturday.
Intal and Alfafara sparked the team’s decisive run in the fifth and deciding set with heavy spikes.
Air Force tried to catch up with Bryan Bagunas and Alnakran Abdilla leading the assault, but they ran out of steam.
Abdilla, who was earlier named tournament MVP, paced the Jet Spikers with 17 points.
Meanwhile, Army dumped Sta. Elena, 26-24, 25-18, 25-19, to settle for third place.