Marck Espejo hails teammates after winning Spikers’ Turf Finals MVP plum

Marck Espejo was crowned the 2023 Spikers' Turf Open Conference Finals MVP after leading Cignal to a perfect 15-game title run on Friday at Rizal Memorial Coliseum. Espejo was a two-way threat in Finals Game 2, unleashing 26 points and delivering a stellar floor defense with 34 excellent receptions out of 40 attempts. Cignal completed a Finals series sweep after surviving the Jau Umandal-led AMC-Cotabato, 25-21, 22-25, 25-17, 28-30, 15-7. But for Espejo, who won his fifth Finals MVP in the league, his teammates setter EJ Casana or Wendel Miguel deserved the honor more. 'I didn't expect it because for me the MVP it's either EJ or Wendel because they were the missing links last time,' said Espejo in Filipino. 'But I'm still grateful to become the Finals MVP and this is for my teammates because it was a collective effort. I won't be able to do this without their help. Chu (Njigha) was also a game changer,' he added. In Game 1, Espejo also erupted for 26 points as Cignal drew first blood with a 25-22, 25-22, 28-26 victory over Cotabato on Monday. Cignal completed a sweep to redeem the Open Conference title after losing to National University last season. Espejo wasn't part of the Spikers' Turf mythical team despite his stellar stint. He was the third Best Scorer with a total of 192 points, the league's Top Server with 0.55 aces per set, fourth Best Spiker with a 45.54% attacking rate, eighth Best Blocker with 0.34 blocks per frame, and third in receiving with a 54.45% efficiency rate. The five-time Conference MVP will now shift his focus to his Korean V-League tryout on April 25 in Jeju Island, eyeing his fourth overseas stint after playing in Japan, Thailand, and Bahrain. Espejo will try his luck along with teammates Manuel Sumanguid and JP Bugaoan and Cotabato's newly-crowned Conference MVP Jau Umandal.

Source: Philippines News Agency