After dominating the first set, Cignal seemed to lose its composure in the second and third frames against Air Force, which almost cost it Game One of the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference Finals.
And usually letting his game do the talking, the soft-spoken Marck Espejo was at the forefront of the HD Spikers’ noise barrage against the game officials. The four-time league MVP could be seen barking out his frustrations at the referees during the span.
“Parang ano, medyo na-feel ko din naman na on-off, on-off din ako, tapos siyempre ‘yung distractions pa outside ng court. Siyempre ‘yung mga tao, ‘yung mga referee, ‘yung mga missed calls,” said Espejo.
“‘Yun ‘yung mali ko.”
Seeing Espejo get irked by the non-calls, Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor called his ace spiker to the side and made sure to help him remember the kind of player that he is.
“Well, nag=struggle eh. May mga sets na may emosyon siya, pero sabi ko lang sa kanya, ‘Always remember who you are’,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor.
It proved to be effective, as Espejo shrugged it off and went on to finish the match with a triple-double performance of 33 points, 19 excellent receptions, and 10 digs. He led the HD Spikers to a hard-fought victory against the Jet Spikers.
“Lagi naman akong nire-remind ng mga coaches na ibalik ko daw ‘yung laro ko.
“Siyempre ‘yun nga, babalik din talaga ‘yung laro ko kapag nandiyan ‘yung mga coaches ko na laging nire-remind ka kung sino ka talaga. And ayun, sumunod lang talaga ako,” Espejo explained.
But despite his masterful performance, the former Ateneo product deflected all the credit to his teammates. He believes that he would not have gotten the numbers if weren’t for their trust.
“Team effort talaga ‘yung pinag-uusapan dito. ‘Di ko rin naman magagawa ‘yun kung hindi dahil sa teammates ko and sa coaches na laging nagre-remind.”
Espejo and the HD Spikers will look to end the series on October 22, Tuesday, at 5:00 PM.
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