Cignal HD came back strong from a four-set upset to Sta. Elena the last time out, blasting Animo Green, 25-21, 25-16, 25-17, to clinch the top seeding in the Final Four of the Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila last Tuesday.
Ysay Marasigan and Marck Espejo combined for 23 points as the HD Spikers finished the single round elims among 12 teams at 10-1, then nipped the Air Force Jet Spikers in the tiebreak to claim the No. 1 spot in the crossover semis.
The Jet Spikers thwarted Rebisco-Philippines, 25-23, 9-25, 23-25, 25-23, 16-14, to settle for No. 2.
With the Nationals moving to Thailand to vie in a weeklong tournament, PLDT took the third semis seat with an 8-3 card, the same output put in by Rebisco-Phl, with the last berth still to be disputed by Sta. Elena (6-4) and BCDA Army (5-4).
Ranran Abadilla fired 24 points, including 17 attacks and six aces, while spiking his superb performance with 21 receptions and six digs as the Jet Spikers denied the Nationals’ bid to build some momentum heading to the Bangkok meet.
Fauzi Ismail backed Abadilla with 14 markers, including a kill that shattered a 14-all count in the decider before Madz Gampong soared for his own attack from the right wing to clinch the win for Air Force.
Bryan Bagunas unleashed a 22-kill game and finished with 26 points for the Nationals.
In a duel of ousted teams. Instituto Estetico Manila-Phoenix subdued Coast Guard, 27-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20 to for a 2-7 card. Coast Guard slipped to 0-9.