After taking the title last year, the Cignal HD Spikers salvaged bronze in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Cup, knocking off the Smart-Army Giga Hitters, 25-15, 22-25, 25-20, 25-18, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The HD Spikers overwhelmed their foes at the net and on serve, tallying 11 blocks and six aces. Smart had eight points combined from both categories.
Cignal’s only hiccup came in the second set, as their bench failed to match Smart’s young legs. From there, Cignal’s regular rotation swiftly took care of the Giga Hitters. The HD Spikers sprinted to a 15-10 lead in the third frame, before dislodging their foes in the fourth set with an 8-2 run that gave them an 18-11 advantage.
Cignal head coach Edgar Barroga was pleased that his team has reached their goal.
“Ang target talaga namin is makapasok lang ng semis this conference kasi nga medyo hilaw pa ‘yung lineup,” he said, adding that they are looking to beef up their squad for the All-Filipino Conference. “Bonus na lang sa amin na may maiiuwi kaming medal.”
Team captain Rachel Daquis tallied a game-high 18 points, while Mylene Paat added 15 for the HD Spikers, who had qualified for an outright semis berth with a spotless in the group stage, only to fall against the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers.
Joanne Bunag led Smart with 10 points while Dimdim Pacres had eight markers.
Smart-Army finished the group stage with a 3-1 record, and defeated the Generika-Ayala Lifesavers in the quarters to qualify for the semis, where they succumbed to the Petron Blaze Spikers.
Cignal HD (3) – Daquis 18, Paat 15, Vivas 13, Salamagos 7, Navarro 4, Sante 4, Aguilar 3, Tubiera 2, Miralles 1, Macatuno 0, Masangkay 0, Amutan (L), Dionela (L)
Smart-Army (1) – Bunag 10, Pacres 8, Bautista 7, Francisco 7, Gutierrez 6, Viray 4, Dizon 3, Pabayo 3, Gonzales 1, Malaluan 1, Sabas 1, Bicar 0, Agno (L), Nunag (L)