Espejo, Intal lead Cagayan Valley in Spikers' Turf tourney

Mark Escarlote on Mar 24, 2015 01:25 PM
Atene, NU core banner Cagayan Valley
Back-to-back UAAP Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo spreads his wings in the Spikers' Turf men's volleyball tournament in Cagayan Valley uniform.

PLDT Ultera and Cagayan Valley Rising Suns will be the marked squads come April 5 when the Spikers’ Turf men’s volleyball tournament unfurls at The Arena in San Juan.

The two are considered as the conference’s teams-to-beat and top contenders in the eight-squad field considering the roster that each club has.

Cagayan Valley, to be handled by Nes Pamilar, will parade a mix of players coming from UAAP finalists Ateneo De Manila Blue Eagles and National University Bulldogs in the tournament organized by Sports Vision, the same outfit that brought the first men’s tournament in the Shakey’s V-League last year. 

Just a month after trying to cut each other’s throats, the tandem of Peter Torres and Jan Paglinawan of NU join UAAP back-to-back Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo and Rex Intal of UAAP champion Ateneo in Cagayan for a chance to challenge Instituto Estetico Manila’s reign.

“Maganda naman (ang pagsasama) ng team pero sa ngayon di pa nakaka-practice yung dalawa sa from Ateneo kasi may klase pa e,” said Pamilar Tuesday in the session of the Philippines Sportswriters Association Forum at Shakey’s Malate.

“Pero wala naman akong nakikitang problema sa jelling noong dalawa,” added Pamilar, who will also try to steer the Lady Rising Suns into a back-to-back title in the SVL 12 Open Conference.

PLDT Ultera has in its roster the top collegiate scorers led by UAAP Best Scorer Mark Gil Alfafara of University of Sto. Tomas Tigers and NCAA MVP Howard Mojica Emilio Aguinaldo College Generals and John Vic De Guzman of College of St. Benilde.

The Odjie Mamon-mentored PLDT Ultera also has a share of veteran players in national team mainstay JP Torres, Jayson Ramos, Henry Pecana and Ron Jay Galang.

Karl Dela Calzada, Jason Canlas, and University of the Philippines captain Evan Raymundo are the main gunners of IEM in its attempt to keep the crown on their heads.

Other teams that will see action in the league are Cignal, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army, Cavite Fourbees and the Richard Gomez-bannered Champion Infinity.

Games will be played in the morning starting at 9:00 a.m. at The Arena in San Juan.

The eight teams will pair in a single round robin format where the top four will advance in the semifinals. The Final Four is another round robin format where each team’s record will be reset to 0-0.

The top two teams after the semifinals will play in a best-of-three championship series while the two lower ranked team square off for third in a best-of-three series. In case the championship game ends in two games, the battle for third will also end in two matches where a series tie will be decided by FIVB tiebreak.



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