After a stinging defeat to PGJC-Navy, Cignal vented its ire on Ateneo de Manila University-Fudgee Barr, 25-14, 25-23, 25-22, to book a semifinals spot in the 2022 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena, Thursday.
The HD Spikers rose to 4-1 for second. The Blue Eagles, meanwhile, fall to 1-4 for a three-way logjam for fifth with Army-Katinko and Santa Rosa City,
At 3-1, the Sealions likewise clinched a semis ticket as the bottom three teams can only reach a maximum of two wins.
“Going back doon sa Navy, it was a tough loss sa amin since it was our first loss since 2019. It’s really a good reminder din para sa amin na kailangan pa namin magpursigi,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor.
“Kaya ito, agad-agad tinapon namin ‘yung ‘di magandang nangyari noong Tuesday and nag-perform ngayon.”
The HD Spikers were hot off the get-go, zooming to a 16-7 advantage en route to a 25-14 first frame.
But the Blue Eagles came to their senses in the second, going point per point with Cignal. However, with the league’s defending champion at set point, Louie Ramirez finished it with a down-the-line spike, 25-23.
Errors ultimately decided the third. Kennedy Batas, Abai Llenos, Jetlee Gopio gave the HD Spikers their last three points.
Ramirez led Cignal’s bounce-back game with 13 points, all from attacks. Meanwhile, Marck Espejo had 12 built on nine spikes, two blocks, and an ace.
JP Bugaoan also contributed 10 points, half of which came from the blocking department. Rex Intal and Ysay Marasigan got seven apiece.
Matthew Salarzon and Batas paced the Blue Eagles with 10 points apiece.
Ateneo-Fudgee Barr played without open spiker Amil Pacinio, due to a minor back injury; and setter Emman Go, who is not available due to school examinations.
Cignal will close the elimination round on Tuesday at 5:30 PM against National University-Sta. Elena. Before that, the Blue Eagles will get first crack against the Nationals on Saturday.