May 12, 2024

Umandal's Pride: Cignal triumphs, even in his absence

In the heat of competition during the 2024 Spikers' Turf Open Conference Finals, an inadvertent collision between Cignal star Jau Umandal and Criss Cross ace Jude Garcia momentarily overshadowed the intensity of the game. 

However, what followed was a testament to the spirit of sportsmanship that permeates the volleyball community.

The incident occurred late in Game 2, as Garcia's elbow accidentally met Umandal's head, resulting in the latter being stretchered off the court.

Despite the intensity of the moment, Umandal revealed that Garcia swiftly reached out to him, expressing genuine remorse for the unintended collision.

"Oo (nag-reach out siya)," Umandal recounted, emphasizing that there were no hard feelings between them.

"Wala namang may gustong mangyari nun, aksidente eh, 'di natin masasabi."

Umandal's resilience shone through as he continued to contribute to his team's victory, finishing the match with 18 points despite the setback.

Reflecting on the incident, he remarked, "Okay lang 'yun, okay lang sa akin kasama sa laro talaga."

Following the collision, Umandal underwent tests at the Adventist Medical Center Manila, where scans revealed no serious injuries.

"Nahilo lang ako nung nangyari 'yun pero okay naman," he assured, grateful for the clean bill of health.

As Umandal watched his former team, UST, compete in the UAAP Season 86 Men's Volleyball Team Finals, he expressed gratitude towards his Cignal teammates, particularly Bryan Bagunas, for their support and dedication, culminating in their championship victory.

"Sobrang sarap sa pakiramdam na may sasalo sa'yo," Umandal reflected, highlighting the camaraderie and teamwork that propelled them to success.

For Umandal, the victory symbolized more than just a championship title; it was the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance.

"Goal namin 'yun eh, pinaghirapan namin," he affirmed, acknowledging the collective effort of his team.

Despite his absence during the final moments of the game, Umandal celebrated the triumph knowing that they had achieved their shared goal.