Coming off a loss to F2 Logistics, the Cignal HD Spikers made the necessary adjustments before breaking into the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix win column. They staved off the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters, 25-22, 27-25, 25-19, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Cignal got off to solid starts in the first two sets, but had to absorb late PLDT comebacks. The HD Spikers saw a 19-15 lead disappear when Jasmine Nabor propelled the Power Hitters to a 22-all draw. Cignal’s American import Erica Wilson then swooped in for back-to-back hits that gave her squad set point, allowing PLDT to end the frame with an attack error.
The second set saw Cignal ahead, 18-13, thanks to a string of solid serving from Rachel Daquis and Mylene Paat. From there, PLDT slowly climbed back, eventually forcing a deuce after Cignal fumbled a combination play. Wilson struck again, keeping Cignal ahead with smashes, before PLDT coughed up another error to close the set.
Cignal took their turn rallying in the final set, turning a 7-11 deficit to a 13-11 lead thanks to solid play from Wilson, Daquis, and Paat. PLDT’s offense eventually stalled, surrendering their last error to push Cignal to a 21-18 lead. Paat then drove the last nail in PLDT’s coffin, scoring thrice off a spike and two aces to close the match.
Cignal HD head coach Edgar Barroga spoke of the positional adjustments he needed to make to have both local ace Paat and import Ana Artemeva on the court. Paat played her natural right pin position, while Artemeva was shifted to middle.
“Si Ana, medyo binago ko yung position niya kahit hindi niya type. Ang kagandahan sa kanya is binigay niya ‘yung the best niya. Naniwala siya sa sinasabi ko kasi malaking tulong si Paat ‘pag ipinasok,” said Barroga, as he had Paat come off the bench in their loss to F2 Logistics last Tuesday.
Paat repaid her coach’s confidence with 19 points off 12 attacks, five blocks, and two aces. Wilson had another strong showing with 21 markers.
Grace Lazard topped PLDT with 14 points, while Shola Alvarez added seven.
Both teams will play their next matches on Saturday at the Bacoor Strike Gym. Cignal (1-1) take on the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors (1-1). Meanwhile, PLDT (0-2) will face the Generika-Ayala Lifesavers (0-1).
Cignal (3) – Wilson 21, Paat 19, Daquis 9, Artameva 5, Musa 2, Aguilar 0, Cardiente 0, Masangkay 0, Vivas 0, Dionela (L)
PLDT (0) – Lazard 14, Alvarez 7, Dahlke 5, Urdas 5, Devanadera 4, Nabor 4, Sta Rita 2, Pantone (L)
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