Marck Espejo bucked a minor injury to help Cignal take down PGJC-Navy in three sets to advance to the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference finals, Tuesday night.
Espejo hurt his left Achilles during the opening frame of the HD Spikers’ straight sets win over VNS-One Alicia last Saturday.
Still, he soldiered on against the Sealions and dropped 16 points on 11 attacks, four blocks, and an ace, to go along with 21 excellent receptions and seven digs to lead his side to a 25-22, 25-21, 25-20 victory that earned them the final seat in the finals.
“Sabi nga ni Louie, ‘always ready naman’ po. Always ready naman po ako syempre kasi it’s now or never. Ito na yung game na parang judgment day,” said Espejo after the win.
Espejo said that he was very happy with the victory after seeing everyone step up to the challenge.
Edmar Bonono, Rex Intal, and Alfred Valbuena all provided quality minutes for the HD Spikers off the bench and combined for a total of eight points while Geuel Asia dished out a couple of excellent sets.
“Masaya ako kasi yung game na ‘to, team effort,” said the former Ateneo star.
“Lahat nag-contribute from sa quality time nila Alfred [Valbuena] and Geuel [Asia], may na-injured, may pinasok at nag-perform and sobrang happy lang ako na itong game na ‘tp lahat nag-trabaho,” he added.
With the semifinals officially wrapped up, Espejo and the HD Spikers are set to take on a familiar foe in National University-Sta. Elena in the Open Conference finals this coming Thursday.
And Espejo vowed payback after losing to the same team in the semifinals.
“Masaya po kasi number one club team sa Pilipinas at number one university team sa Pilipinas maglalaban. Sabi nga ni coach Dex [Clamor] exciting match ‘to and nilu-look forward ko ulit na makalaban ulit sila and makabawi sa pagkatalo namin last time.”