The controversy that marred their first counter was absent in the rematch, as the Cignal HD Spikers secured the fifth seed in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference after trouncing the Cocolife Asset Managers, 25-17, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23, at the Batangas City Coliseum.
The HD Spikers won a tight five-setter over the Asset Managers on opening day, which saw both squads cause a stir due to the perceived lack of quality officiating.
Their second showdown had less angst, as Cignal HD thoroughly handled the Asset Managers in the first two sets. But a slow start severely cost the HD Spikers in the third set and allowed the Asset Managers to extend the match.
Cocolife threatened to drag the contest out to a decider, forcing a late 22-all tie. Mylene Paat then pushed Cignal to a 24-22 lead via back-to-back transition conversions. A Rachel Daquis attack error gave Cocolife hope, but it was quickly taken away as Arianne Angustia served wide to end the match.
“Sinabi ko lang sa kanila na kailangan natin mag-focus,” said Cignal head coach Edgar Barroga of his squad’s near collapse. “Nawalan kami ng focus noong mga unang sets pero nakabawi kami dahil sa experience at will ng players ko.”
Paat topped the HD Spikers with 23 points, while Daquis managed 22.
Kalei Mau was again Cocolife’s lone double-digit scorer, tallying 22 points.
Cignal move on to face fourth seed Foton Blue Energy in the knockout quarterfinals. The Asset Managers will take on red-hot second seed F2 Logistics Cargo Movers.
Cignal HD (3) – Paat 23, Daquis 22, Aguilar 10, Doria 6, Salamagos 4, Tubino 3, Navarro 2, Vivas 2, Macatuno 1, Malaluan 1, Masangkay 0, Dionela (L)
Cocolife (1) – Mau 22, Tiu 5, Gendrauli 4, Palec 4, Angustia 3, Barroga 3, Tan 3, Bangad 2, Alkuino 1, Berte 1, Pena 0, Yongco 0, Lazaro (L)