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Cignal too much for Imus spikers

Cignal clipped erstwhile unbeaten Imus-Ivy Tuason Photography with its vaunted power game, fashioning out a 25-16, 25-22, 25-22 victory to gain a share of the lead in the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference Friday at the packed Paco Arena in Manila.

Marck Espejo delivered 18 points on 13 attacks and five aces and added 11 excellent receptions to spike another dominating performance for the HD Spikers, who also shut out the Santa Rosa City Lions last week.

Earlier, PGJC-Navy used its veteran smarts and balanced scoring to hammer out a 25-19, 25-14, 25-23 victory over the hapless Santa Rosa side and get back into the mix. 

Ysay Marasigan backed Espejo with 13 points while JP Bugaoan tallied 10 points in the match that lasted just one hour and 26 minutes. 

“It boils down to preparation. Since Monday, pinag-aralan talaga namin sila lalo na ‘yung set plays nila,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor, whose team won in all scoring departments, including spikes, blocks and serves. 

The HD Spikers imposed their will early, racing to a 15-6 lead in the first set en route to the trouble-free win. Cignal also built a 20-12 bulge in the second but the AJAA Spikers rallied to within two, 22-24, before Marasigan closed out it out with an off-the-block kill.

Imus kept it close in the third, 22-23, but Marasigan again bailed Cignal out with a clutch hit before Louie Ramirez misfired to seal the victory for the HD Spikers, who thus tied the Cotabato Spikers and the Iloilo D’Navigators at the helm.

Ramirez, member of Cignal last conference, led Imus with 12 points while Hero Austria and Kim Malabunga added seven points apiece for Imus, which slipped to 2-1.

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