The Cignal HD Spikers core of NCAA Season 91 champs did the heavy lifting in their quick sweep of the Foton Toplander 25-20, 25-18, 25-18 in the PSL Invitationals at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Foton was hard pressed at building any sort of momentum throughout the match. Cignal controlled the serves and defense consistently every set. Middle hitter and NCAA Finals MVP Jeanette Panaga dominated the action at the net and demolished Foton’s reception with her loaded serves. Her Benilde teammates, setter Djanel Cheng and open hitter Janine Navarro provided the perfect offensive compliment. When the trio where in the front row at the same time, Cignal’s lead grew easily.
Jeanette Panaga recorder a lordly stat line of 21 points on 12 attacks, four blocks, and five aces. Janine Navarro provided 11 points while Djanel Cheng contributed two points and 26 excellent sets.
“Pinagsama-sama talaga namin sila (Benilde players) sa isang rotation. Makikita mo naman na kuhang-kuha na nila ‘yung mga laro ng isa’t isa, hindi mo na sila kailangan turuan,” said Cignal head Sammy Acaylar.
Former University of the Philippines Lady Maroon Angeli Araneta was the only Toplander in double-digits with 11 markers. Patty Orendain and Dana Henson contributed seven points apiece.
Cignal’s 3-2 record means that they still have a shot at making the next phase of the competition. Cignal, who has eight match points, still has a chance to tie with Petron, who currently holds 11 match points.
The HD Spikers will need to take a straight-sets or four-set win over RC-ColaArmy (4-1) in their Saturday meeting to earn three more match points. If Foton (1-4) wins in straight-sets or four-sets over the Petron Tri-Activ Spikers (3-1), Petron will earn no match points and they will be in a tie with Cignal for the last spot in the next phase.
Cignal (3) – Panaga 21, Navarro 11, Mandapat 8, Laborte 7, Berte 6, Cheng 3, Vivas 3, Llagoso 2, Hingpit 0, Dionela (L)
Foton (0) – Araneta 11, Henson 7, Orendain 7, Ortiz 7, Estampa 3, Dawson 1, Dimaculangan 1, Tianco 1, Tabaquero (L), Acevedo (L)