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Sports

Air Force eyes semis berth in Spikers' Turf

Joey Villar - Philstar.com

Games Wednesday

(The Arena, San Juan)

1 p.m. – Air Force vs Sta. Elena

3 p.m. – Navy vs PLDT Home Ultera

5 p.m. – Cignal vs IEM

MANILA, Philippines – Air Force guns for a semifinal berth as it clashes with an unpredictable Sta. Elena in today's resumption of the Spikers' Turf Season 1-Reinforced Conference presented by PLDT Home Ultera at The Arena in San Juan City.

The over-achieving Air Spikers are off to a strong start, winning their first three games, including a 25-21, 25-21, 25-18 victory over the Navy Sailors on October 25 that pushed them to the early lead.

Air Force will have a chance to extend its streak to four and clinch the first berth into the semis if it could hurdle Sta. Elena, currently clinging to a share of fourth spot with PLDT Home Ultera with a 1-2 (win-loss) record apiece, in their 1 p.m. encounter.

Rodolfo Labrador will be the man to watch after he unloaded 14 in the victory over Navy that catapulted him into fourth overall in the best scoring race.

Same with the power-hitting Jeffrey Malabanan, the league's leading spiker, and Reyson Fuentes, who has been the pillar of the Air Spikers' net defense with a league-leading 0.83 block per set.

"Our teamwork has been helping us a lot and if we can continue playing like that, we'll have a chance," said Air Force coach Rhovyl Verayo.

Cignal, for its part, hopes to keep its grip at No. 2 on a 2-1 slate as it clashes with Instituto Estetico Manila (0-2) at 5 p.m.

The HD Spikers turned back the Active Smashers with a come-from-behind 23-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-20, 15-9 win and will clinch at least a playoff for a semis berth if they could hurdle the Phoenix Volley Masters, who are seeking their first win of the conference after dropping the first two.

Navy (1-1) and PLDT (1-2) collide at 3 p.m. likewise hoping to boost their stock.

ACTIVE SMASHERS

AIR FORCE

AIR SPIKERS

CIGNAL

ELENA

GAMES WEDNESDAY

HOME ULTERA

INSTITUTO ESTETICO MANILA

JEFFREY MALABANAN

NAVY SAILORS

PHOENIX VOLLEY MASTERS

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