HD Spikers target redemption, semis berth vs Eagles

HD Spikers target redemption, semis berth vs Eagles

Games Thursday

2:30 p.m. – Army vs Santa Rosa
5:30 p.m. – Cignal vs Ateneo

MANILA, Philippines – Stung by Navy the last time out, Cignal tries to fuel another run as it clashes with back-to-back wall Ateneo-Fudgee Barr Thursday, looking to formalize its stint in the semifinal round of the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila.

The HD Spikers were on their way to joining the National University-Sta. Elena in the next round but got ambushed by the fired up Navy Sealions, who fought back from a set down and a huge deficit in the fourth to hack out a 20-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-23 victory Tuesday night.

That stalled the back-to-back defending champions at 3-1 with the HD Spikers raring to vent their ire on the Eagles in their 5:30 p.m. clash. But with a 1-3 card like Santa Rosa, Ateneo is also going all out for a win although the Eagles would need a lot of luck to deal the HD Spikers their second straight loss.

The Santa Rosa City Lions also seek to stay in the semis hunt as they tangle with the winless Army Troopers in the 2:30 p.m. in a crucial twinbill that would either clear or muddle the semis race among seven teams.

With four straight wins, Sta. Elena, which swept VNS-One Alicia, also last Tuesday, secured the first Final Four berth with Navy and Cignal likely to nail the next two, leaving the fight for the last slot among VNS (2-2), Santa Rosa and Ateneo.

At 0-4, Army’s chances for a playoff for the last semis seat hinge on a sweep of its last two games and for VNS, Santa Rosa and Ateneo not to go over two wins.

Veterans Marck Espejo, JP Bugaoan, Louie Ramirez and Ysay Marasigan can’t wait to deliver the blows against the Eagles, who will be hard-pressed to put up a challenge on a team built around a young crew of JM Salarzon, Amil Pacinio Jr., Ken Batas and Jetlee Gopio.

The City Lions, meanwhile, brace for a tough outing against the seasoned Troopers, who are out to snap their skid following losses to the Nationals, the HD Spikers, the Sealions and the Eagles and keep their slim playoff hopes.

Games are aired on One Sports and One Sports+ and the league’s official website http://spikersturf.ph/live.



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