Cignal failed to complete its 10-game sweep without dropping a set as it needed an extra one to turn back a gritty National University-Archipelago side, 25-18, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22, Sunday at the close of elims play in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena.
The HD Spikers moved a frame away from fashioning out a record run but the Volley Builders pounced on their lackluster play in the third and surprised them with a gutsy stand then hung tough in the clutch to blemish their fancied rivals’ card.
“Well, we accepted na talo talaga kami doon sa third set. Naging complacent kami nung third set e, pero hindi lang naman yun yung pina-kagoal namin,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor.
“Nakakapanghinayang kasi history yun e, na walang nakatalo sa amin, pero hindi yun yung main objective namin. Ang main objective namin is to be in the championship, to be in the finals, and makabawi ulit sa pagkatalo namin last Conference,” he added.
Marck Espejo scored a game-high 16 points on eight attacks, four blocks and four aces and finished with 12 excellent receptions for the HD Spikers, who also drew 13 markers from Wendel Miguel and a combined 19-point output from Alfred Valbuena and team captain Ysay Marasigan.
Mac Bandola and Jan Abanilla scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, for NU, which ended its campaign with a 1-0 record.