Cignal boots out Choco Mucho, completes semis cast

November 23 ------ Cignal advanced to the semifinals after ousting Choco Mucho in four sets, 17-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-14, in the 2022, Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, Tuesday at the PhilSports Arena.

American import Tai Bierria, who played off the bench in the first before starting the last three sets, finished with a game-high 18 points on 14 attacks and four blocks to go along with 11 excellent digs and three excellent receptions for the 5-3 HD Spikers. Ces Molina added 13 points while middle blockers Rose Doria and Ria Meneses chipped in nine and eight points, respectively.

“Una, medyo feel talaga namin yung pressure nung first set. Ganun din yung team, kailangan kasi ma-overcome namin yun e. Kita namain yung galaw, ‘di naman yun yung team namin kung paano maglaro,” said Cignal head coach Shaq delos Santos when asked about the team’s first set loss. “So sabi ko yung chance namin na binigay, na dapat ‘di namin pinakawalan kasi nandito na kami e, kumbaga gawin lang namin yung naging preparation, naging mindset namin, and then syempre to be honest yung experience syempre lamang naman kami sa kalaban namin pero hindi kami pwedeng maging complacent kasi alam namin kung papaano mag-laro yung Choco Mucho so after nun, na-realize rin nila na wake up call talaga yung first set,” he continued

Already up by seven points, 11-18, in the non-bearing fourth set, Rachel Daquis hammered three points in a six-to-nothing run to put the HD Spikers at match point, 24-11. The Flying Titans managed to save three match points but Kla Abriam eventually converted a hit to finish off the match.

Choco Mucho, who needed to win the match in three or four sets to be able to reach the semis, actually started the game hot but injuries on Kat Tolentino (right knee) and Des Cheng (right small finger) during the second set definitely hurt their chances against the HD Spikers. Tolentino eventually returned during the fourth set but Cheng sat out the rest of the match. The former La Salle star still top scored for her team with 15 points on 12 attacks and three blocks while Tolentino was limited to just nine points. Import Odina Aliyeva, who missed the team’s crucial loss against Creamline last Thursday, only had eight points and nine receptions.


Editor's note:

In the first game, Lindsay Stalzer and Kalei Mau dominated as F2 Logistics capped off its 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference campaign on a high after taking down the semis-bound Petro Gazz in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 27-25. Stalzer dropped 22 points on 19 attacks, two blocks, and an ace to go along with seven excellent digs and six excellent receptions while Mau unloaded 20 points built on 19 attacks for the Cargo Movers. F2 Logistics ended the Reinforced Conference in fifth place with a 4-4 win-loss standing.

The Petro Gazz Angels who ended the eliminations as the number three seed at 5-3, will take on the top-ranked Creamline in the semifinals on November 24, Thursday at 2:30 PM.