In a one-game showdown for the championship, emphasis will be on precision, reliability, and early control as Cignal and National U dispute the Spikers’ Turf Invitational crown on Friday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
The winner-take-all finale is set at 5:30 p.m. with the HD Spikers aiming for a 10-game sweep in the inaugural tournament of the league organized by Sports Vision.
But the Nationals are also all primed for battle, seeking not only a payback at their semis tormentors but also redemption after falling short in the Open Conference, also ruled by the HD Spikers.
JP Buagaoan, Jau Umandal, and Ysay Marasigan will spearhead Cignal's drive for a second consecutive title this year while Joshua Retamar, Nico Almendras and Leo Ordiales will anchor NU’s bid with injured top hitter Michaelo Buddin still uncertain.
Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor said that despite defeating the Nationals in the semis, the HD Spikers cannot afford complacency. He added: “Though we beat them in the semis, we will prepare more this time. We won’t be complacent and we will study them, analyze all their tendencies and formulate our strategy.”
Meanwhile, NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who is also in the finals of the Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference with Choco Mucho, underscored the need for his wards to stay focused.
He expressed the team’s desire to reclaim the Open Conference crown they secured in 2022, saying: “We just really need to focus again on what we’re doing. Of course, we want to win, to get the championship again but we need to work for it and prepare well.”
Saints and Lattes-Letran and guest team Maruichi Hyogo , meanwhile, collide for the bronze in their side of the duel at 3:30 p.m.
Games in the tournament, backed by Bola.TV, Beyond Active Wear, ASICS and Mikasa, can be streamed live on SpikersTurf.ph and Pilipinas Live and telecast on OneSports and OneSportsPlus.