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Cignal ends two-game slide at struggling RC-Cola’s expense



The Cignal HD Spikers regained their form after dropping their first two matches of the second round, handing the RC Cola-Air Force Raiders their sixth straight loss, 25-19, 20-25, 25-10, 25-19, in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Malolos Sports Complex in Bulacan.

As per usual, Air Force had trouble getting good passes off Cignal’s serves. The HD Spikers snatched an early lead in the opening set and saw off Air Force’s advances to nail the set. The second set had Cignal momentarily share Air Force’s reception woes, allowing the Raiders to get five of their eight in the set alone. Air Force claimed a one point lead to a 16-9 advantage and took their only set of the match.

Cignal, however, came back with a vengeance. Taking full advantage of Air Force’s poor passing, Cignal easily jumped ahead to double-digit leads in the following sets and sealed their win. University of Portland standout Aeriel Usher led Cignal with 22 points while her twin-tower Amanda Anderson pitched in 15 markers. Former UAAP MVP Mumay Vivas paced the offense with a season-high nine points.

Losing their past two matches against Petron and Foton after a first round sweep, Cignal head coach Sammy Acaylar saw his team get a much-needed break from the hectic tournament schedule to regain their form. “I told that management that we really needed to rest. I didn’t blame the players because loaded talaga ang schedule nila – from game then to practice. So ngayon, we played really well although we aren’t at the level of confidence we were at the start of the tournament. Siguro na sa 60% pa lang pero mahahabol pa namin ‘yun,” Acayalar recalled.

After winning their tournament opener against Meralco, Air Force dropped out of the semis picture with a 1-6 slate. Puerto Rican import Lynda Morales nabbed 15 points while Sara McClinton contributed 12 points.

With Air Force and Meralco sporting dismal records, the tournament’s semis picture is set with Petron (6-2), Cignal (6-2), and Philips Gold (5-3) ahead of the pack and Foton (4-3) needing just one more win to secure their spot.

The Scores

Cignal (3) – Usher 22, Anderson 15, Vivas 9, Laborte 6, Hingpit 5, Mandapat 1, Gallanero 1, Ancheta 0, Angustia 0, Mullenberg 0, Dionela (L)

RC Cola (1) – Morales 15, McClinton 12, Dimaculangan 7, Ortiz 5, Caballejo 4, Yongco 4, Cases 3, Pantino 0, Semana 0, Abanto (L)


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.