Cignal unloaded a balance offensive strike, handing University of Perpetual Help a straight-set thrashing, 25-17, 25-23, 25-15, Sunday in Game One of the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference best-of-three semifinals at the Paco Arena.
The HD Spikers flexed their muscle early and dictated the tempo of the match to deny the Altas a chance to mount a significant comeback attempt.
The troika of Marck Espejo, Rex Intal, and Vince Mangulabnan spearheaded Cignal’s assault to move a step closer to a championship berth.
Marasigan was at the forefront of the attack, delivering 12 attacks for 13 points along with nine digs, Espejo followed suit with eight markers and nine excellent receptions, while Mangulabnan orchestrated the HD Spikers’ offense with 17 excellent sets.
“From the very [start], nag-huddle kami sa dugout ang sabi ko ‘ang mentality is to kill, animal instinct kumbaga.’ Dapat patay kung patay. Malakas o mahina ang kalaban, dapat kill,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor.
Already holding a 2-0 lead in the match, the HD Spikers went for the jugular as they built an 8-4 cushion before going on an 8-1 tear to take a 16-5 advantage.
Looking to go for the jugular, the HD Spikers pounced on Joebert Almodiel and Hero Austria’s attack errors and used it to unleash an 8-1 rally to take an 11-point advantage late in the match.
Meanwhile, Kennry Malinis was the lone bright spot for the Altas with 14 points founded on 10 attacks and four kill blocks.
Game2 is set on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.