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Spikers Turf: Marasigan steps up in 3rd as Cignal sweeps NU, takes first semis win


Cignal found an unlikely hero to help close out a tight third set and sweep National U-Sta. Elena, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21, in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference semifinals, Wednesday at the Paco Arena.

With the Nationals mounting a comeback attempt to force a fourth set, HD Spikers head coach Dexter Clamor inserted team captain Ysay Marasigan, who is still hobbled by a calf strain, to try and change the tides of the third set.

Marasigan’s heavy serves, as well as his leadership, carried Cignal over the hump and forced the Nationals to commit three consecutive errors that eventually turned to a 6-0 blast, transforming a 14-18 disadvantage to a 20-18 edge.

Jade Disquitado and Nico Almendras tried to keep NU afloat with vicious attacks but it was not enough as Wendel Miguel and Jau Umandal put on the finishing touches to keep the HD Spikers unbeaten after six games in the tournament.

“Nung third set medyo naging complacent kasi lamang kami nung una tapos biglang nahabol, tapos nalamangan na kami. What’s really good about this team is hindi sila sumusuko,” said Clamor.

“Nung pagpasok ni Ysay, nakahabol kami ng four points dahil sa service niya. So it’s all bout commitment ng bawat isa na kahit anong mangyari, lalaban kami hanggang dulo,” added Clamor.

Miguel led the charge for the HD Spikers with 16 points on 13 attacks, two aces, and one block to go along with eight excellent receptions and four digs while Umandal chimed in 14 markers on 13 attacks and one block.

JP Bugaoan tallied nine points built on four blocks while Peter Torres and Lloyd Josafat had seven and four markers, respectively, in the victory.

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EJ Casana tossed 20 excellent sets in the one-hour, 26-minute contest while Manuel Sumanguid registered 12 excellent receptions and six excellent digs.

On the other hand, Nationals rookie Disquitado paced NU with 17 points on 15 attacks and two blocks to go along with 17 excellent receptions and two digs.

Almendras was held to just nine points in the loss while Leo Ordiales and Obed Mukaba added seven and five points, respectively.

Cignal will face off against Japanese squad Maruichi Hyogo on Friday, 5:30 p.m. at the Filoil EcoOil Centre while NU aims to bounce back against Saints and Lattes-Letran earlier that day at 3:30 p.m.

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