May 12, 2024

Bryan Bagunas leads with heart in face of adversity

In the heat of the 2024 Spikers' Turf Open Conference finals, Bryan Bagunas didn't just wield his athletic prowess; he exemplified leadership and solidarity when Cignal teammate, Jau Umandal, faced a daunting setback.

As the game clock wound down in Game 2, an inadvertent collision left Umandal, the dynamic outside hitter, stretchered off the court.

Bagunas, with a heart full of determination, whispered reassurance to his fallen comrade: "Kami na ang bahala, Jau."

Those words echoed a commitment to carry on the fight, not just for victory but for their injured teammate.

The incident unfolded when Umandal, in pursuit of a crucial point, found himself on the receiving end of an accidental elbow from Criss Cross' Jude Garcia. Despite the physical toll, Bagunas remained a pillar of strength, urging Umandal to stay alert amidst the chaos.

True to his promise, Bagunas took charge. With unwavering resolve, he delivered the final blows, securing a resounding victory for Cignal. In a thrilling sweep of Criss Cross, Bagunas showcased his prowess, tallying 22 points with a flurry of spikes, aces, and blocks. His stellar performance earned him the Finals MVP accolade, a testament to his indomitable spirit and skill.

But amidst the glory, Bagunas never forgot the brotherhood that bound the team together. Umandal's resilience in the face of adversity served as a rallying cry for Cignal. Witnessing Umandal's unwavering dedication, Bagunas rallied his teammates, igniting a fire within them to fight on, fueled by the desire to honor their fallen comrade.

"Sabi ko sa mga teammates ko, nilaban ni Jau, kaya kailangan namin ilaban," Bagunas emphasized. His words encapsulated the essence of their triumph – not just a victory on the court, but a triumph of unity and solidarity.

As the final buzzer sounded and confetti rained down, it was more than just a championship for Cignal; it was a testament to the power of teamwork, resilience, and heart.