Cignal goes all-out not only to stretch its win run to four but also to get back at a familiar rival that has its numbers the past few months as the HD Spikers take on the PGJC-Navy Sealions today (Wednesday) in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The fancied HD Spikers are coming into their 5:30 p.m. clash ready for payback but wary against the Sealions, who have beaten them in the 2022 Open Conference of the country’s premier men’s volley league organized by Sports Vision and in the 2022 PNVF Champions League.
“We are very much excited na makalaban ulit ang Navy dahil every conference, every league natatalo nila kami. Last Spikers’ Turf, tinalo nila kami sa elims, sa PNVF Champions League tinalo din nila kami,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor, whose wards seek to join the Iloilo side at the helm.
Navy ended the HD Spikers then 16-game win run in the Spikers’ Turf with a 20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-23 victory, while also pulling off a similar four-set stunner in the PNVF tournament, 18-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21.
But one thing that could against Navy is that EJ Casaña, who steered the Sealions in those reversals, is now with Cignal.
However, former HD Spiker Owen Suarez is now Navy’s primary setter, looking to push them back in the hunt after winning just one of their first three matches.
Clamor fielded in all but one of his 14 players in their straight-set romp over the Air Force side last time out for “load management” but top hitter Marck Espejo, the only one who didn’t suit up, is expected to see action again to spearhead the team’s drive for a fourth straight victory.
Meanwhile, VNS aims to build on its morale-boosting five-set escape over National U-Archipelago when it faces the Airmen in the 3 p.m. opener.
While they are tops in digging department, the Griffins hope to finally get their offense going as they currently rank last in the spiking category.
“Mahirap talaga kasi mahina kami sa attacks pero number one kami sa digs so ang pinaka-goal lang talaga is maconvert namin lahat ng nadi-dig namin to attacks,” said VNS head coach Ralph Ocampo.
Up-and-coming Noy Pedrosa looks to sustain his top form along with veterans Ron Medalla and Pemie Bagalay for the Griffins, while the Airmen will lean on Ranran Abdilla and Edwin Tolentino to snap their skid.
Games are telecast live on One Sports, One Sports+, Cignal Play, and SMART Live Stream.