Marck Espejo and Cignal schooled Perpetual Help once more, taking a 25-15, 25-18, 25-17 victory to secure the first seat in the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference Finals, Tuesday at Paco Arena.
The four-time MVP tallied 14 points built on 11 attacks, a pair of kill blocks, and an ace along with 12 excellent receptions and six digs for Cignal, who extended its unbeaten streak to eight games.
“I think it’s all about preparation, kasi kahit medyo na dominate namin ‘yung first game, hindi talaga kami tumigil. Nag-viewing pa rin kami, pinanood namin ‘yung mga lapses namin, kung ano ‘yung mga errors namin. Kaya handa kami,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor.
After Cignal breezed through the first two sets, the Altas then slowed HD Spikers down in the third frame. That, however, did not stop Cignal from bagging the game in three sets.
Down by a solitary point in the third frame, Espejo, along with Wendel Miguel and Ysay Marasigan, took turns pummeling hits to give the HD Spikers a four-point lead, 16-12.
Looking to close things up, Alfred Valbuena and Aj Pareja took over and extended Cignal’s lead to seven points. Valbuena then fired back-to-back hits to finish the set.
Valbuena and Miguel provided eight and seven points, respectively. Meanwhile, Edmar Bonono, Marasigan, and Pareja had six points apiece.
Perpetual, who closed its Spikers’ Turf campaign with two consecutive losses, was led by Kennry Malinis with eight points.
Reigning NCAA MVP Joebert Almodiel was held down to just two points in three sets of play. He also tallied 10 excellent receptions and four digs in the process.