Cignal one win away from PVL title with four-set victory over Air Force
Lorenzo Capate delivers 15 points for Cignal. Dante Peralta

CIGNAL overcame a sluggish start to defeat Air Force, 18-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-19, in the opener of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference men’s division title series on Saturday at the PhilSports Arena.

Lorenzo Capate scored 15 points, while Mark Alfafara added 13 for Cignal.

Air Force and Cignal are battling in their fourth straight championship showdown.

Peter Torres had 11 points, while skipper Ysay Marasigan scored 10, all from attacks, and had nine excellent receptions for Cignal, which is hoping to claim the title after back-to-back finals losses.

The second match of the best-of-three series is set on Tuesday.

“’Yung first set kasi alam mo naman ang psychological effect na for the past ilang seasons hindi sila nananalo sa Air Force. So ang tendency nila madaliin ang sarili nila,” said Cignal coach Oliver Almadro.

“Now noong naka-recover, naka-relax na, they believed in each other, they trusted each other so doon na namin nakuha ang momentum,” he added.

National University’s Bryan Bagunas and Kim Malabunga fired 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Air Force while Ranran Abdilla added 12.

Meanwhile, Sta. Elena won the opener of the best-of-three battle for third against Army, 18-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-18.

Edward Camposano scored 16, Berlin Paglinawan added 14 points and Evan Raymundo chipped in with 11 for the Wrecking Balls.

Romnick Rico had 18 points while Lemuel Arbastro scored 13 for the Troopers.

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