Coming off back-to-back disappointing losses in the 2017 Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga Grand Prix, the Cignal HD Spikers got their mojo back with a hard-earned, straight-sets win over the Iriga City Oragons, 26-24, 25-23, 25-17, at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
The HD Spikers needed to hustle late in the first two sets. Having added San Sebastian College-Recoletos standout Joyce Sta. Rita, the Oragons got much-needed help.
To end the first set, Cignal went to their wingers to close out a deuce. The second frame almost dragged into another late deadlock, but the HD Spikers made clutch blocks to take a 2-0 lead.
By the third set, the Oragons’ locals had run out of gas, leaving their imports to do the heavy lifting. Cignal took full advantage, shutting down Iriga City, racing to a 16-10 lead, and never looking back.
For National Team veteran and Cignal opposite spiker Jovelyn Gonzaga, accountability was key in her team getting back on track despite missing key player Rachel Daquis.
“Talagang inako lang namin ‘yung responsibilities namin as players sa loob ng court,” said Gonzaga, who poured in 15 points, three digs, and four excellent receptions.
“Ngayon, talagang focused kami sa next games namin. Hindi kami pwedeng mag-dwell sa nangyare sa mga nakaraan naming talo,” she added.
Cignal’s import middle blockers Beth Carey and Alexis Matthews each tallied 10 markers. The HD Spikers gave up a season-low 15 errors to Iriga’s 23.
Serbian Tamara Kmezic paced Iriga with 22 points, while Japanese winger Saam Miyagawa added 15.
The HD Spikers (2-3) take on the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers (2-0) on November 21 at the FilOil Flying V Centre. The Oragons (1-3) will try to end their three-game slide on Thursday against the Cocolife Asset Managers (2-2) on Thursday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Cignal (3) – Gonzaga 15, Carey 10, Matthews 10, Mercado 6, Tubino 6, Saet 3, Paat 2, Marciano 1, Dionela (L)
Iriga City (0) – Kmezic 22, Miyagawa 15, Lana 6, Villegas 3, Cabriana 2, Sta. Rita 1, Bombita 0, Raterta 0, Yoshioka (L)