MARCK Espejo unleashed a league-best 43 points as Cignal completed a series sweep of Go for Gold-Air Force, 21-25, 25-22, 24-26, 25-16, 15-6, to rule the 2019 Spikers’ Turf Open Conference on Tuesday at Paco Arena.
Espejo made sure to close the series out in Game Two as he exploded with 33 attacks, eight service aces and a pair of blocks to deliver the franchise’s second crown of the season and earn himself the Finals MVP plum.
The former Ateneo standout, who also had a great defensive effort with 22 excellent receptions and eight digs, surpassed the previous scoring record of Howard Mojica's 41-point outing last August 19, 2015 when Emilio Aguinaldo College faced Ateneo.
The Jet Spikers moved a set shy of forcing a rubber match with a 2-1 match advantage but Espejo and the HD Spikers never wavered and fought their way back.
The four-time league MVP, who previously dropped 55 points in a UAAP game back in April 21, 2018, completed the comeback, providing 10 of the team’s 15 points in the fifth set.
“Sobrang happy and overwhelming, hindi namin lubos maisip na kami pa rin magchachampion kasi ang daming nawala e. Nagpapasalamat ako siyempre kay Lord kasi binigay niya sa amin ‘to,” said Cignal head coach Dexter Clamor.
Conference MVP Ysay Marasigan chipped in 11 points. Edmar Bonono contributed 11 points and nine digs. Vince Mangulabnan steered the offense with 30 excellent sets, while Manuel Sumanguid had 15 excellent receptions and 10 digs.
Air Force surrendered its second straight crown to Cignal with Ranran Abdilla leading the way with 18 points in a losing cause.
Fauzi Ismail had 16 markers. Francis Saura and Kim Malabunga added with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Rikko Marmeto tallied 28 excellent receptions and 18 digs, while Jessie Lopez ended with 22 excellent sets in another silver medal finish.