Marck Espejo dished out top form, firing 14 hits as he powered Cignal HD to a 25-15, 25-18, 25-17 repeat romp over Perpetual Help to clinch the first finals berth in the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila recently.
The four-time MVP Espejo spiked his another solid performance with 11 kills and a pair of kill blocks and 12 excellent receptions and six digs as the HD Spikers followed up their 25-17, 25-23, 25-15 victory in Game One to sweep their best-of-three semis series.
The victory was also Cignal HD’s eighth straight.
Go for Gold-Air Force, meanwhile, banked on Ranran Abdilla to stop Sta. Elena-National U, 26-24, 25-23, 19-25, 25-18, to force a sudden death in their side of the Final Four.
Sta, Elena took the series’ opener, 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 20-25, 15-8, but just couldn’t neutralize Abdilla in Game 2 as the top Air Force hitter unloaded 15 attack points to finish with 18 markers, two kill blocks and an ace on top of 19 excellent receptions.
The HD Spikers, meanwhile, proved too tough to handle for the Altas although after two sets, the latter kept the game close in the third frame, only to fade in the face of the former’s strong finishing kick.
Down by one in the third set, Cignal went to Espejo, who combined with Wendel Miguel and Ysay Marasigan as the HD Spikers surged ahead at 16-12 before Alfred Valbuena and Al Pareja took over to finish off the Altas.
Valbuena and Miguel combined for 15 hits while Edmar Bonono, Marasigan and Pareja had six markers apiece.
Kennry Malinis led Perpetual with eight points as reigning NCAA MVP Joebert Almodiel was held to just two points in three sets by the tough defending HD Spikers.