After a tumultuous Game Two breakdown last Saturday, the Cignal HD Spikers displayed championship poise, outclassing the Megabuilders Volley Bolts in the winner-take-all Game Three, 25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22, to bring home its second championship this conference, Wednesday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
“First of all, I did not expect this championship this conference,” said Cignal head coach Oliver Almadro as the Megabuilders handed the HD Spikers its sole loss this conference during the elimination round. “We know NU is much way ahead sa amin, they are precticing everyday, magkakasama na rin sila for five years.”
Skipper Ysay Marasigan paced Cignal with 17 points, 12 from attacks, three from kill blocks, and two from aces. Saku Capate, who was adjudged the Finals MVP, added 16 points.
“Madaming nag-sacrifice sa team na ito. Mark [Alfafara], he is one of my starters pero nag-sacrifice ng playing time kasi maganda nilalaro ng team. Talagang hindi ako nahirapan para i-motivate sa kanila,” furthered Almadro.
And with the Megabuilders cutting the lead to just one, 19-18, in the fourth set, it was the depth of Cignal HD that proved to be the difference.
Two straight points by Cignal sparked by a Capate attack gave the HD Spikers enough cushion. Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad tried to will the Megabuilders back but a quick attack by Peter Torres and a block point by Marasigan against Fauzi Ismail sealed the crown for the Red and White.
“Ang nangyari is they believed in the system,” Almadro expressed. “Pinakita nila ang maturity and mental toughness.”
Edmar Bonono and Torres chipped in 12 and 11 markers respectively. Vince Mangulabnan dished out 49 excellent sets.
Ismail led the Megabuilders, a team that lost just once in the elimination round, with 21 points. Middle blocker Kim Malabunga added 14 points.
After winning both the Reinforced and Open Conference crowns, Almadro will have a chance to match the feat only achieved by Roger Gorayeb if he steers the Ateneo Blue Eagles to the Men’s Collegiate Conference crown.
Earlier in the day, the Philippine Air Force Airmen made quick work of the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls to bring home bronze, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23. Ranran Abdilla was unstoppable in the game, scoring 25 points.
Cignal HD (3) – Marasigan 17, Capate 16, Bonono 12, Torres 11, Intal 9, Alfafara 2, Mangulabnan 1, Diezmo 0, Villanueva 0, Montero (L).
Megabuilders (0) – Saura 21, Malabunga 14, Bagunas 11, Natividad 11, Saura 5, Gampong 4, Dayandante 0, Ancheta 0, Marcos (L).