Wendel Miguel has gotten the biggest recognition he could get during Cignal’s two-game escape of AMC-Cotabato in the 2023 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference Finals to complete their 15-game sweep and regain the championship.
None other than his teammate Marck Espejo gave him his flowers after the HD Spikers achieved redemption after losing the title last year to National University.
“Sa Finals MVP hindi ko po inexpect kasi itong Finals po, para sa akin yung MVP talaga is either si EJ (Casaña) or si Wendel (Miguel) kasi sila yung missing link namin nung last time,” said Espejo, who copped his fifth Finals MVP plum in the Spikers’ Turf.
And to hear those words from his mentor Espejo, it means a lot for Miguel.
The University of the Philippines product also bagged the tournament’s Best Outside Spiker award along with Iloilo’s Jade Disquitado.
“Nakakaoverwhelm kasi galing kay Marck eh. Si Marck isa sa mga tinitingnan ko rin sa team siya kasi yung laging nagpapasensya sa akin, laging nagtuturo sa akin ng mga dapat gawin, nagtuturo sa akin ng bago na pwede kong gawin sa loob ng court,” said the surprised Miguel.
“Siya rin yung pag nawawala na rin ako, nagiging kalmado siya sa akin eh kaya sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam na si Marck sasabihin sayo yun.”
Miguel produced 12 points in the straight sets win of the HD Spikers in Game 1 but it was in Game 2 where he really shone and had his moment.
The pride of Dinalupihan, Bataan unloaded 16 points in the five-set thriller, none more important than his five points in the fifth set that enabled Cignal to pull away and build an insurmountable 14-5 lead.
And for Miguel, his impressive deciding frame performance was all about mindset.
“Yung sa fourth set kasi parang nafrustrate ako sa sarili ko na hindi ko nagawa yung trabaho ko. Sabi ko sa sarili ko kailangan makabawi, kailangan ako ng team ko,” said Miguel, who spent the last season off the bench with Louie Ramirez taking the other outside hitter position alongside Espejo. “Nandito na eh, kailangan hindi na ako sumimangot, kailangan nageenjoy na ako sa ginagawa ko.
“Kailangan kong icompose yung sarili ko kasi last na ito, wala nang training bukas. Yun ang iniisip ko wala nang training bukas, hindi na pwedeng magtraining bukas. Champion na tayo! Claim it! Ganon lang yung iniisip ko talaga.”