Cignal and VNS-One Alicia try to break out of an early four-way tie for the lead as they take on Army-Katinko and Sta. Rosa, respectively, today (Saturday), capping the explosive initial week of the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The HD Spikers disposed of the Sta. Rosa Lions, 25-17, 25-15, 25-22, while the Griffins repulsed the Ateneo-Fudgee Barr Eagles, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-9, in the country’s first and only men’s league’s return following a three-year hiatus last Tuesday.
But the defending back-to-back champion Cignal, boasting of seasoned campaigners John Paul Bugaoan, Peter Torres, Edmar Bonono, Rex Intal, Ysrael Marasigan and Marck Espejo, braces for a tougher challenge from the PJ Rojas-ledTroopers in their 2:30 p.m. clash with the latter out to redeem themselves from a losing stand against the National U-Sta. Elena spikers in a match they dominated in the early going before succumbing in the face of the Nationals’ strong fightback, 20-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-12.
While the Cignal-Army tussle could be a toss-up, the VNS-Sta. Rosa duel at 5:30 a.m. may lead to another one-sided encounter given the Griffins’ depth that could be too much for the young Lions to handle.
Tipped to lead VNS’ attack are Ben San Andres and Mark Montemayor and ace playmaker Ish Polvorosa.
Games are telecast on One Sports and One Sports+ and the league’s official website http://spikersturf.ph/live.