In a prelude to life without their National Team stalwarts, the Cignal HD Spikers were able to showcase their depth in a dominant sweep of the hapless Gamboa Coffee Spikers, 25-11, 25-15, 25-18, Sunday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
With Mark Alfafara, Bonjomar Castel, and Herschel Ramos about to head to National Team duties, coach Oliver Almadro decided to mix things a bit for the still-unblemished HD Spikers, playing Alfafara and Ramos for just one set, while not fielding Castel at all. The powerful Alfafara still finished the game with eight points.
“Ito yung first game na tinry namin na wala sila Mark, so we are trying to adjust on plays na wala sila,” said the multi-titled mentor. “We are trying to find a way maximize what we have and find a way.”
Stepping up for Cignal was Saku Capate, who finished the game with 10 points. Ysay Marasigan and Peter Torres added eight and seven markers each.
“What’s important is for our players to be ready to step up. So we will still practice and learn sa upcoming games namin,” added Almadro, even after they had dominated all the offensive categories against the still-winless Gamboa Coffee.
In all three sets, the HD Spikers raced to early leads and never looked back, including a wide 8-2 lead to start the third stanza. Even with Cignal’s third stringers coming on to close out the game, Gamboa Coffee had no answer for the depth of the reigning Reinforced Conference champions.
And this was all in preparation for Cignal’s titanic clash against the Megabuilders Volley Bolts on Wednesday, July 19, at 1:00pm.
“Mabigat yung Megabuilders since matagal na silang magkakasama,” disclosed Almadro. “Well, we’ll see what we can do and we just have to be prepared for their challenge but we also have to challenge them.”
Mapua alumnus Philip Bagalay led Gamboa Coffee with eight points.
Gamboa Coffee will look for that elusive win when they face the Café Lupe Sunrisers on Sunday, July 23, at 1:00pm.
Cignal (3) – Capate 10, Marasigan 8, Alfafara 8, Torres 7, Bonono 5, Villanueva 4, Faytaren 4, Intal 3, Mangulabnan 2, Ramos H. 2, Diezmo 2, Ramos J. 0, Montero (L).
Gamboa Coffee (0) – Bagalay 8, Pagulong 6, Navera 6, Andaya 3, Damian 1, Santos 1, Martinez 0, Evangelista 0, Hizon 0, Canlas (L), Bondoc (L).