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Cignal, Mega Builders eye lead

F2 Logistics switches its title-retention bid a notch higher when it clashes with powerhouse Petron in Game 1 of their Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference best-of-three finals series today at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.

CIGNAL TV Inc. and Mega Builders gear up for what promises to be a fierce duel of unbeaten teams with contrasting styles as they dispute the solo lead—and the first semifinal berth—tomorrow (Wednesday) in a key men’s Premier Volleyball League Open Conference match at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

The HD Spikers, seeking a follow-up to their recent Reinforced Conference feat, and the Volley Bolt, one of the league’s three newcomers making a big impact in the country’s premier men’s volley league, have swept their first four games in emphatic fashions, making their 1 p.m. clash truly a match to watch.

But while Cignal anchors its surge on attacks, Mega Builders continues to bank on its blocking prowess in dismantling its rivals. In fact, Volley Bolt teammates Kim Malabunga and Francis Sauri emerged as the league’s leading blockers with 12 and 11, respectively, midway through the single round elims of the tournament organized by Sports Vision.

As a team Mega Builders has produced 40 kill blocks in four games with an average of 2.86 by set.

They hope to flash their defensive skills again against the Ralph Diezmo-led HD Spikers, who have dished out 192 spikes, also in four games, with 46.72 percent success.

After scraping past veteran team Army in five sets to mark its PVL debut, Mega Builders swept Café Lupe, Gamboa Coffee and Instituto Estetico Manila to zero in on one of the semifinal berths in the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.

But Cignal turned in a more explosive start, blanking Café Lupe, Gamboa Coffee and Army while ripping Sta. Elena in four.

Air Force, toting a 3-1 card, also tries to firm up its semis drive as it faces IEM (2-2) at 10 a.m.

Meanwhile, Sta. Elena’s Berlin Paglinawan emerged the league top scorer halfway through the elims with 69 points, including 67 attack points, with Air Force’s Alnakran Abdilla and Edwin Tolentino producing 68 and 63 hits, respectively.

Sta. Elena’s Nico Ramirez and Abdilla share the early best server honors with seven aces each, Cignal’s Sandy Montero is tops in digging with 54, Nico Ramirez, also of Sta. Elena, leads the best setter derby with 149 running sets.          

Games tomorrow

10 a.m. – Air Force vs IEM (men’s)

1 p.m. – Mega Builders vs Cignal (men’s)

4 p.m. – Creamline vs Power Smashers (women’s)

6:30 p.m. – Perlas vs UP (women’s)

Topics: F2 Logistics , Petron , Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference
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