Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times
(C) Jem Ferrer/Spikers Turf


Spikers Turf: Criss Cross stages epic comeback to gain Finals slot, ends Cignal’s streak

Criss Cross defied the odds, crawling back from a 0-2 deficit to snap defending champion Cignal’s 10-game winning streak, 18-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22, 17-15, and make it to the finals of the 2024 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference, Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

After a flat start that saw them trail 0-2 early in the match, the King Crunchers turned things around in the third set. That revived their finals dreams while finishing the round-robin semifinals with a 2-1 record.

With the victory, Criss Cross set up a date with Cignal – their third in this conference – in the best-of-three finals which will begin on Wednesday, 6:00 PM, at the same venue.

ST-2024-Semis-Cignal-vs.-Criss-Cross-Ish-Polvorosa-2 Spikers Turf: Criss Cross stages epic comeback to gain Finals slot, ends Cignal's streak News Spikers' Turf Volleyball  - philippine sports news

(C) Jem Ferrer/Spikers Turf

“Nung third set nga, bago mag-start yung third set, napag-usapan sa huddle namin na ie-enjoy na lang namin yung game namin. Manalo o matalo, 100 percent kami para at least no regrets,” said Criss Cross outside hitter Marck Espejo.

After forcing a fifth set, the King Crunchers found themselves trailing the HD Spikers, 11-12, after JP Bugaoan nailed a quick attack.

Espejo then fired a cross-court hit, igniting a 3-0 swing which put Criss Cross at match point, 14-12. Bryan Bagunas kept Cignal alive before an attack error from Ysay Marasigan knotted things up at 14.

The former Ateneo star scored over three blockers, but Bagunas would not give up. He scored from the back to tie the game anew at 15.

That, however, proved the end for the reigning champs.

Espejo converted a backrow hit, before Kim Malabunga roofed Bagunas for the win.

#ReadMore  Filoil makes final change to groupings as UP, Letran lead pools

“Ayun, nung third set, may naghihintay lang talaga na mag-spark na mag-enjoy kami sa loob ng court. Yun, lahat naman nag-step up, nasabayan ng performance, yun yung Criss Cross na sistema,” said Espejo.

ST-2024-Semis-Cignal-vs.-Criss-Cross-Bagunas-Espejo Spikers Turf: Criss Cross stages epic comeback to gain Finals slot, ends Cignal's streak News Spikers' Turf Volleyball  - philippine sports news

(C) Jem Ferrer/Spikers Turf

Espejo had his best performance in a Criss Cross uniform, unloading 28 points on 21 attacks, four aces, and three blocks.

Meanwhile, Jude Garcia backstopped him with 20 points to go along with 15 excellent receptions.

On the other hand, Bagunas’ conference-high of 38 points – 34 from attacks – went down the drain.

The HD Spikers will head to the best-of-three finals carrying their first loss of the conference.

Jau Umandal ended up with 15 points, while Bugaoan had 13 markers.

Cignal ended the semis with a 2-1 record as well.

Written By

You May Also Like


Jude Garcia and Criss Cross made their mark in their maiden conference in the Spikers’ Turf. Garcia recently returned to indoor action after focusing...

2025 FIVB World Men’s Championship

Bryan Bagunas, Marck Espejo, and Jau Umandal will spearhead the 21-man pool of the Philippine men’s national volleyball team for the 2025 FIVB Men’s...


All is well between Cignal star Jau Umandal and Criss Cross ace Jude Garcia after their accidental collision that sent the former to the...


Marck Espejo was filled with gratitude toward Rebisco for investing in men’s volleyball by establishing the Criss Cross King Crunchers to compete in the...


“Kami na ang bahala, Jau.” These were Bryan Bagunas’ parting words to Jau Umandal before the latter was stretchered out of the court after...


Jude Garcia stood tallest among all as he was hailed as the 2024 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference Most Valuable Player on Friday. The Criss...


Crown defended. Despite losing key members during the offseason, Cignal found ways to recuperate and maneuver every tight set into its favor. Thanks to...


Marck Espejo acknowledged that Cignal exhibited greater determination following Criss Cross’s disheartening four-set loss to the defending champions in Game 1 of the 2024...