MANILA, Philippines — Cignal shrugged off a third-set hiccup and clinched its fourth straight victory in the All-Filipino Conference Premier Volleyball League after a 25-15, 25-23, 18-25, 25-19 win against Petro Gazz, in freefall, on Saturday. at PhilSports Arena in Pasig Metropolis.
Vanie Gandler’s professional performance with 23 points, built around 19 attacks, three blocks and an ace, helped the HD Spikers improve to 5-2.
“We expected our match against Petro Gazz to be tough because they had strong senior players,” coach Shaq delos Santos said in Filipino. “We all know they will handle stress effectively. It’s a good thing the crew delivered.
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“Their performance (in the third set) didn’t suit me too because we know if they moved well the result would have been good,” he said.
Cignal also had Ces Molina contribute 17 points on 15 kills and Gel Cayuna 9 points with three aces, 12 superb digs and 14 superb sets.
“It’s a good thing in the fourth set, despite a slow start, our end was strong and I’m grateful that the team really wanted to win,” added Delos Santos.
The HD Spikers managed to tie the match at 10 after recovering from a 7-2 Petro Gazz start before the Angels eventually took third place.
Cignal regained his composure in the final set despite Petro Gazz taking the lead before the HD Spikers broke away with Gandler nailing the score.
“I told them that we should be patient because Petro Gazz also has a lot of endurance against attacks, defense, blocks. Everyone’s eagerness to win was there, so everyone followed,” Cayuna said.
The Angels have now lost three straight after opening conference play at 4-0 despite scoring 16 points from Grethcel Soltones and 11 points each from Remy Palma and Jonah Sabete.
Petro Gazz is coming off a five-set loss to defending champion Creamline, 25-22, 23-25, 25-27, 25-19, 15-13, on Thursday.
“Our goal, we know, will be difficult, but it is not impossible to win the last remaining matches. The evolution of the sport is neither easy nor great, but we are getting results,” said Delos Santos. “It’s not enough that if we win, that’s it. Under no circumstances will we be complacent.
“The management (of Gandler, Molina and Cayuna) actually put us on the court docket. We are working on it to be stronger in the court case, because if they ship, we will definitely have a better performance.
Cignal will meet with F2 Logistics next Thursday at the FilOil EcoOil Center in Metropolitan San Juan.
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