July 26, 2017, 2:37 am
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Cignal, Mega Builders part ways

CIGNAL TV Inc. and Mega Builders gear up for what promises to be a fierce duel between unbeaten teams with contrasting styles when they dispute the solo lead and the first semis berth tomorrow in a key men’s Premier Volleyball League Open Conference match at The Arena 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 fashion, making their 1 p.m. clash truly a match to watch.

While Cignal anchors its surge on attacks, Mega Builders banks on its blocking prowess in dismantling its rivals. In fact, Volley Bolt teammates Kim Malabunga and Francis Sauri have emerged as the league’s leading blockers with 12 and 11, respectively, midway through the single round eliminations 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 semis berths in the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.

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 when it faces IEM (2-2) at 10 a.m.

Sta. Elena’s Berlin Paglinawan emerged as the league’s top scorer halfway through the eliminations 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 shared the early best server honors with seven aces each, Cignal’s Sandy Montero leads in digs with 54, while Nico Ramirez, also of Sta. Elena, leads the best setter derby with 149. 
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