Air Force Raiders down Cignal HD to draw first blood in Spikers Turf finals
Jeffrey Malabanan and the Raiders are one win away from the title. Freddie Dionisio

AIR Force went to its big guns and downed Cignal HD TV, 25-15, 19-25, 25-19, 25-19, on Saturday to draw first blood in the Spikers' Turf title series at The Arena in San Juan City.

Jeffrey Malabanan had a team-best 17 hits as the Raiders held off a spirited challenge by the HD Spikers in the opener of the best-of-three showdown.

Rodolfo Labrador, Reyson Fuentes, Ruben Inaudito and Edwin Tolentino combined for 41 points.

Aside from the setter and libero Raffy Mosuela,  Air Force coach Rhovyl Verayo fielded in only two other players — Mike Abria and Pitrus de Ocampo.

"These same players have been carrying us the whole conference so we might as well rode with them until the last," said Verayo.

The Raiders go for the jugular on Wednesday at 3 p.m. A deciding match, if necessary, will be on Dec. 5.

"That's our next goal, to go for it in the next game," said Verayo.

Edmar Bonono and Lorenzo Capate combined for 30 points for Cignal.

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