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Monday, February 26, 2024

HD Spikers set tone for redemption campaign in Champions League

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Cignal HD kicked off its redemption drive Sunday with a rout of College of Saint Benilde in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum where only a day before the franchise’s women’s team missed snatching the title.

“It’s our first game of the year and everybody contributed well not just the first six but the entire team,” said Cignal HD coach Dexter Clamor following his wards’ 25-19, 25-21, 25-20 of the Blazers, the only collegiate squad in the eight-team men’s tournament organized by the PNVF headed by Ramon “Tats” Suzara.

“They are all eager to win,” added Clamor, a former University of Perpetual Help Alta, whose team has two missions in the competition—regain the crown it lost to the University of Santo Tomas in the tournament branded as Champions Cup last November and avenge the women’s squad’s final setback to Petro Gazz last Saturday.

The vengeful HD Spikers needed only 88 minutes to dispose of the Blazers and provide the opening-day highlight of the tournament backed by PLDT, Ayala Land, Nuvali, Cignal, One Sports, One Sports+, Mikasa, Senoh, Foton, Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission.

National team spiker Joshua Umandal had 15 points on 12 hits and three blocks for the former champions, while skipper JP Bugaoan contributed 10 points and fellow national team player Llloyd Josafat and Wendell Miguel added six and five points, respectively.

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Cignal has yet to play with its prized recruit, national team ace Bryan Bagunas, in its campaign in Pool A where Savouge Spin Doctors debuted with a 25-21, 15-25, 25-22, 25-22 victory over PGJC Philippine Navy also Sunday.

In Pool B, Iloilo D’Navigators booked a 25-20, 25-23, 25-20 sweep of the VNS Asereht Griffins.

Jhun Señoron, Sherwin Caritativo and Jeremy Pedrosa joined forces with 16, 15 and 12 points, respectively, for the Spin Doctors while Iloilo banked on John Andres’ 16 points as well as Kyle Villamor’s 10.

Philippine Air Force and Philippine Army made their debuts in Pool B on Monday.

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