February 16, 2024

Cignal, Iloilo to duke it out in PNVF finale

ONE team will be left standing without a scar as unbeaten teams Cignal HD and Iloilo D’Navigators duke it out for the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) Champions League men's crown after disposing of their respective semifinals assignments.


The HD Spikers swept VNS Asereht, 25-14, 25-15, 25-22 while the D’Navigators clobbered College of Saint Benilde, 25-21, 25-16, 25-19, in the knockout semifinals to forge a titular showdown Thursday night at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.


With little to no break, Cignal and Iloilo plunge into action at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday in the one-game championship of the first event by the PNVF backed by PLDT, Ayala Land, Nuvali, Cignal, One Sports, One Sports+, Mikasa, Senoh, Foton, Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission. VNS and Saint Benilde battle for the bronze medal at 3 p.m.


“We prepared hard for the semis, we always treat is one match at a time,” Cignal HD coach Dexter Clamor said. Cignal HD won’t play in the final middle blocker Nastin Gwaza who sprained his ankle in the Saint Benilde match, but Clamor still has the luxury of a deep bench led by Joshua Umandal and Mark Frederick Calado, who had 11 points each in the semifinals.


Lloyd Josafat had nine while captain JP Bugaoan and Wendel Miguel added seven points apiece in their 93-minute contest against the Blazers. Cignal HD is out for redemption after surrendering its throne to University of Santo Tomas in five thrilling sets last year.


But that would be easier said than done as the D’Navigators appear to be an equally lethal if not a more dangerous foe.


“We’re well-prepared. We’re here not to compete. We’re here to win,” said veteran spiker Jayvee Sumagasaysay who had nine points in their win over VNS in only 80 minutes.


“We’ll fight them off, point for point,” said coach Rizalito Delmoro, who also drew 19 and 13 points from John San Andres and Francis Saura, respectively.


In the classification matches, Savouge Spin Doctors drubbed the Philippine Air Force, 25-21, 25-18, 25-18, while the Philippine Army trounced the Philippine Navy, 25-23, 25-17, 25-17.


Savouge and Army will dispute fifth place and Air Force and Navy battle for seventh and eighth spots to complete the final rankings in the men’s division of the tournament organized by the PNVF headed by president Ramon “Tats” Suzara.