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Cignal finds connection, takes Game 1 of semis

The Cignal HD Spikers go ahead by a game in their race-to-two series against the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls after a close four-set outing, 25-22, 19-25, 25-22, 26-25, in their semifinals match-up in Open Conference of the Spikers’ Turf Season 2.

In their preliminary matchup, Cignal breezed past the Wrecking Balls in three sets, but this game is a whole other story, according to HD Spikers Head Coach Michael Carino.

“‘Yung last game naman namin, parang no bearing ‘yun e. Inexpect ko na talaga na lalaban ‘yung kabila. Siyempre gusto rin nilang pumasok [sa finals]. Parang ‘yung standing namin na 5-0, burado na lahat ‘yun,” said Carino.

Tied at one set each, Cignal found themselves up by five points late in the third set, 23-18, but four straight points by Sta. Elena off three unforced errors and a block by Berlin Paglinawan.

Paglinawan scored 14 points off 10 attacks and four blocks, but Arjay Onia was their top-scorer with 15 off 14 attacks.

Herschel Ramos, however, stopped the bleeding for Cignal with an emphatic quick attack from the middle, followed by a four touch violation on the Wrecking Balls to end the set, 25-22.

Ramos scored 14 for Cignal with 10 attacks, three blocks and an ace.

A close final set found the opposing sides in seven deadlocks throughout. The last tie was at 24 apiece after an Alexis Faytaren off-the-block attack.

Cignal also committed 37 errors, most of which came in the final set, compared to Sta. Elena’s 21.

“‘Nung last set na ‘yun, lamang na kami ng lima e, tapos inunti-unti kami ng kabila. At the same time, nagpahinga ‘yung team ko, nawalan kami ng receive at nawalan ng service,” said the Cignal head coach.

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Then, Ysay Marasigan’s block on Onia and a cross court hit by Raymark Woo closed the set and the match.

The two teams will meet again on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Arena for the Game 2 of the semifinals.

“Hopefully hopefully, [matapos na namin in two games]. Ayoko munang magsalita, pero gagawin namin ‘yung best namin para manalo,” closed Carino.

The Scores:

Cignal (3) – Woo 22, Ramos 14, Faytaren 12, Marasigan 11, Bonono 8, Mangulabnan 5, Capate 1, Lansangan 1, Dela Cruz 0, Diezmo 0, Montero (L)

Sta. Elena (1) – Onia 15, Paglinawan 14, Camaganakan 12, Torres 7, Honrade 4, Mandani 2, Relata 1, Dela Vega 1, Abdulwahab 0, Arbasto 0, Mangaring (L)

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