By: Jonash Dannug
In a battle between the last two undefeated teams in the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference, Cignal outclassed PLDT with a rousing sweep, 25-21, 25-19, 25-19, at the Paco Arena, Sunday.
Marck Espejo powered the HD Spikers’ whipping of the Power Hitters with 19 points built on 16 attacks and three blocks. Team captain Ysay Marasigan chipped in 13 for the now 5-0 Cignal.
“Sabi ko sa kanila kanina, it’s all about attitude. Lahat gustong manalo, pero dito malalaman kung sino ‘yung [mas] maganda ‘yung character. Kung sino ‘yung mas magtiya-tiyaga,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor.
On the other hand, PLDT, who dropped to 4-1, was led by John Vic De Guzman with nine markers.
Earlier in the day, the Volleyball Never Stops Volleyball Club (VNS VC) Griffins finally entered the win column after handing Easytrip-Raimol its sixth loss of the conference in four sets, 25-18, 20-25, 25-10, 29-27.
With the game tied at 27-all in the final set, Pemy Bagalay came to the rescue for VNS, converting an attack to give the Griffins a one points edge. Tony Koyfman then sealed the victory with a kill.
“First win namin pero sobrang hirap kasi ‘di kami masyadong nakapag practice for ngayon eh, kasi busy sa work then ‘yung mga players nag start na ng klase. So, ang hirap kasi ‘di kami nakapag-practice sa service [at] receive, nag struggle talga kami sa reception,” said VNS VC head coach Ralph Ocampo.
Koyfman fired 15 points built on 13 attacks and two blocks while Bagalay added 12 markers to power the now 1-3 Griffins.
In the nightcap, the Philippine Navy Sea Lions were able to gut out a four-set victory against the Sta. Elena Ball Hammers, 25-22, 25-11, 20-25, 25-23.
National pool member Joeven Dela Vega finished the game with 13 points while Bonjomar Castel added 12 and 11, respectively for the 3-2 Navy.
“’Yung game namin nagbunga naman ng maganda ‘yung talagang fino-focusan namin. ‘Yung mga lapses namin medyo nakita ko na nadagdagan, siguro kapag napagpatuloy namin ‘to, mas malayo pa ang mararating namin,” said Navy head coach Edgar Rusit.
In the fourth set, Nico Almendras tied the game at 23-all as he tried to will the game back on their side. However, two consecutive errors from Sta. Elena cost them the contest.
Sta. Elena, who suffered their third loss of the season with a 2-3 standing, was led by UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year Almendras.
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