Marck Espejo banners Ateneo-laden Criss Cross in Spikers' Turf

Marck Espejo banners Ateneo-laden Criss Cross in Spikers’ Turf

/ 03:28 PM March 02, 2024

Criss Cross King Crunchers Spikers' Turf

Criss Cross King Crunchers.–LANCE AGCAOILI/

MANILA, Philippines — Make way for the newest Spikers’ Turf team, the Criss Cross King Crunchers, who seek to make waves in their first campaign and contribute to Philippine men’s volleyball’s growth.

After dominating the PVL scene with defending champion Creamline and Choco Mucho clashing in a record-setting crowd in the All-Filipino Conference Finals last December, Rebisco has decided to form a third team, this time, in the Spikers’ Turf, which fires off later this month.


The Criss Cross King Crunchers on Friday evening were formally introduced with returning Thai coach Tai Bundit at Joy Nostalg.


Marck Espejo, who is still in South Korea with the Incheon Korean Air Jumbos, headlined the Ateneo-laden team, which includes team captain Ysay Marasigan, Ish Polvorosa, Rex Intal, Chu Njigha, Gian Glorioso, and Manuel Sumanguid III.

The five-time UAAP MVP, though, is expected to arrive by the end of April. But Marasigan said the team has been forming a strong bond with veteran players  Kim Malabunga, Vince Mangulabnan, Juvie Mangaring, and Geuel Asia as well as beach volleyball stars Jude Garcia, Anthony Arbasto, Philip Bagalay, and Jaron Requinton.

“It’s not that hard to get along with them because I know most of the team members. I have played with them and went up against them, and some of them have been with me in my past teams,” said the Criss Cross skipper in Filipino.

“It won’t be easy for us [in the Spikers’ Turf] because we started training in the middle of January and we’re still familiarizing the system of coach Tai. I hope we’ll get there,” he added.

Rebisco has dominated the volleyball scene in the past years as Creamline emerged as the most successful PVL club with seven championships after beating its sister team Choco Mucho in an epic finals showdown. 

The company has been supporting the Philippine national volleyball teams including the biggest feats in men’s volleyball with a historic silver medal for the squad, bannered by Espejo, Polvorosa, Intal, and Malabunga in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and three straight bronze medals in the biennial meet for Requinton, Garcia, and Arbasto of the men’s beach volleyball team.


Despite the company’s dominance in Philippine volleyball, Marasigan said Criss Cross, owned by Jonathan C. Ng and managed by Alan Acero, is patient with the newcomer’s progress as it is not expecting instant success when the King Crunchers debut in the Spikers’ Turf.

The King Crunchers are just grateful for the opportunity to play in the flourishing men’s volleyball league and the warm welcome of the fans, hoping they could contribute to the rise of the sport.

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“I’m so happy and grateful to the fans, who have been supporting the players of the Criss Cross King Crunchers. And of course, we have a lot in store for them. We’re excited to play in the Spikers’ Turf,” Marasigan said. “Of course, this will also help [the promotion of] men’s volleyball since the momentum was cut by the pandemic after the national team’s silver medal finish in 2019.  I think now is the start of the men’s volleyball’s resurgence.”

TAGS: Coach Tai Bundit, Marck Espejo, Rebisco, spikers’ turf

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