AIRASIA took the solo lead as it survived Cignal, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 15-11, on Wednesday in the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Aby Marano came up with 18 points, Paneng Mercado had 15, while Mic-Mic Laborte chipped
in 13 as the Flying Spikers scored their second win in as many matches.
The Flying Spikers, who looked solid in their opening-day win against Cagayan Valley, appeared to be in disarray this time against the twice runners-up HD Spikers and coach Ramil de Jesus was relieved they ended up with the win.
“Makikita kanina na hindi pa masyado kilala ang isa't-isa, hindi pa namin ma-maximize ang strengths ng bawat isa, hindi pa alam ang igagalaw sa loob ng court," said the multi-titled mentor.
“Isa sa pinakamabigat na team ang Cignal,” he said.
Down by nine, 8-17, in the fourth, AirAsia came up with a 13-3 run capped by back-to-back service aces by Marano to grab the upperhand, 21-20.
But Laborte later failed to cross the ball from the service line, which moved Cignal to set point, and Abi Praca came up with a tipped the ball softly over the net to force a decider.
The HD Spikers had a strong start in the fifth and posted an 8-5 lead but the Flying Spikers counterattacked with a 10-3 rally, sealed by a Cha Cruz service ace, to finish the match in almost two hours.
"Pang build ito ng self confidence ng team, 'yung sa players andoon naman na," said De Jesus. "Minsan kasi magko-commit ng error tapos 'di makakabalik agad, buti nga noong fifth set nakabalik."
Honey Royse Tubino finished with 24 points for Cignal, while Danika Gendrauli and Praca came up with 12 and 10 markers, respectively.