Cignal has secured a flawless 15-game sweep in the 2023 Spikers' Turf Open Conference Finals, with Marck Espejo emerging as the Finals MVP.
However, Espejo deflected credit to Wendel Miguel for his contributions to the team's victory, describing him as the "missing link" from last year's squad.
"I didn't expect to win the Finals MVP because for me, the MVP should really be either EJ Casaña or Wendel Miguel because they were the missing link for us last time," said Espejo.
Miguel was also awarded the tournament's Best Outside Spiker alongside Jade Disquitado from Iloilo.
Speaking about his accolades, Miguel expressed his surprise at receiving such recognition from Espejo, whom he considers one of his mentors.
He revealed that Espejo had been patient and had taught him everything he knows about playing on the court, making his acknowledgement even more special.
"It's overwhelming because it came from Marck. Marck is one of the people I look up to on the team because he's always patient with me, always teaching me what to do, showing me new things I can do on the court," said a surprised Miguel.
"He's also the one who stays calm with me when I get lost, so it feels really good to hear that from Marck."
Miguel's defining moment came in Game 2, where he played a crucial role in securing the team's victory. He produced 16 points in the five-set thriller, with five of those points coming in the decisive fifth set. His performance enabled Cignal to pull away and build an insurmountable 14-5 lead.
According to Miguel, his mindset was the key to his impressive performance in the deciding set. After becoming frustrated with himself in the fourth set, he reminded himself of the team's goal and told himself to enjoy the game.
He just focused on composing himself and claimed the championship by envisioning his success.