After losing key pieces from their title-run in the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference, Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor turned to some familiar faces to fill in the void and bolster their Open Conference campaign.
With FEU opting to join the second conference, Jude Garcia, JP Bugaoan, and Owen Suarez – who helped the HD Spikers clinch their fourth title in the league last July – will be suiting up for the Tamaraws this August.
Garcia and Bugaoan were vital in Cignal’s success. The former averaged 16.5 points per game, while the latter provided 11 markers per outing in their best-of-three Finals series against erstwhile-defending champion Air Force.
Left scrambling for replacements, Clamor was able to convince a former teammate to come out of retirement and fill in one of the remaining roster slots.
The rookie tactician secured the services of former UAAP Season 72 MVP and now ABS-CBN analyst AJ Pareja.
“Actually si AJ Pareja nag-retire na, kasi gusto niyang mag-focus sa career [niya] as doctor. Pero inencourage ko siya to play indoor again dahil sa tingin ko, malaki pa ang matutulong niya sa team,” said Clamor.
Pareja and Clamor go way back, as they have played together for Systema in the Philippine Super Liga back in 2013.
Knowing the 6-for-4 middle blocker’s capabilities, Clamor believes that Pareja can still provide a much-needed presence above the net, despite his long lay-off from the game.
“His maturity, experience, and leadership can help a lot sa team. He was also a former National team player and UAAP MVP during his time, he is very fit to play pa rin,” Clamor bared.
Meanwhile, Sandy Montero – who has played with Cignal before and was also a former teammate of Clamor – will be making his comeback with the HD Spikers after suiting up for Air Force last conference.
Another player who will be making his comeback this Open Conference is five-time UAAP Best Setter Ish Polvorosa, who was forced to skip last conference as he needed to focus on his election campaign.
Completing Cignal’s roster is former UP Fighting Maroon Alfred Valbuena.
With the team’s late additions, expect the HD Spikers to make another hard run to the championship this Open Conference which begins on August 20 at the Paco Arena in Manila.
Cignal dethrones Petron to forge PSL Finals date with F2 Logistics
Gilas Girls vent ire on Malaysia to advance to 3X3 U18 Asia Cup playoffs
After long wait, Creamline made sure to finish BanKo as swift as possible
Rike, Ababou eyed to step up as Statham-less Pasig competes in Xiongan
NCAA slaps Macaraya with suspension, community service after unsportsmanlike behavior
FEU to invoke ‘Troy Rike-rule’ on former NCF big man Emman Ojuola
Bryan Bagunas out to prove that Filipinos can compete in international leagues
Houston Rockets looking to bring back Terrence Jones
Bulanadi lifts severely short-handed Baste past Letran in OT
Lyceum survives foul-plagued game versus CSB for fifth straight win
Mapua routs JRU, rises to fifth
Gutang returns as Saint Benilde survives late Arellano run to go to 5-0
- Basketball4 days ago
FEU Tamaraws take down Taiwan summer tourney
- 3x3 Basketball14 hours ago
Gilas Youth tap tried and tested squads for FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup
- News2 days ago
Mau, Maraño link up, lead F2 Logistics to PSL Finals
- Basketball4 days ago
Chabi Yo, Subido link up in endgame as UST advances to NBA 5v5 Finals