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Cignal needs determination over skill against Choco Mucho, says Shaq


Cignal’s straight-sets win against Gerflor on Tuesday coupled with Creamline’s victory against Galeries later in the day set the table for the Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference semifinals pairing.

The HD Spikers, who didn’t complicate the race for the final Top Four ticket by just winning against the Defenders, will be up against the second-ranked team after the eliminations in Choco Mucho.

The Flying Titans (10-1) will enter the best-of-three semis boasting a 10-game winning streak with their only loss coming against the undefeated Cool Smashers on opening day.

Cignal’s Ces Molina, the Invitationals MVP, knows that post-season action will not be easy as the remaining three teams are the squads that dealt them their three losses in the elimination round.

With it, the 5-foot-9 open spiker out of Nueva Ecija encouraged her teammates to focus on themselves and not dwell on their defeat against Choco Mucho in the preliminary round.

The Flying Titans dominated their elims matchup last October 26, 25-21, 25-19, 25-18, but the HD Spikers gathered themselves and won seven of their next eight games with their only defeat coming from a five-set down-to-the-wire battle with Chery Tiggo.PVL-AFC-Cignal-vs.-Gerflor-Ces-Molina-8631-scaled Cignal needs determination over skill against Choco Mucho, says Shaq News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“I think yung first mindset namin is to focus on our strength dahil yung makakalaban namin nga, like I said talagang nirerespeto namin and mataas yung mga volleyball IQ ng makakalaban namin dito sa semis,” said Molina, the league’s sixth-best scorer.

“Again magpi-prepare kami and magfofocus kami sa strength namin dahil yun yung nawala sa amin dito sa elims nung nakalaban namin yung mga nakatalo sa amin na nasa semis din. Again magfofocus kami sa sarili namin and sa team namin.”

Vanie Gandler, who was not on the team yet during the First AFC where Cignal did not make the semifinals, then specified what was the team’s strength that they need to build on if they’re looking to break what looked to be like the Flying Titans’ cloak of invincibility as of late.

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PVL-AFC-Cignal-vs.-Gerflor-Vanie-Gandler-8546-scaled Cignal needs determination over skill against Choco Mucho, says Shaq News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news“I think what we’re gonna focus on the most are teamwork, the strength of the team is one another so coming into the semis, it’s really gonna be more challenging, everyone wants it so yeah, we’re just gonna work this one, hopefully we make it,” said the Ateneo product.

Head coach Shaq Delos Santos, on the other hand, said their first-to-two-wins clash with Choco Mucho will not be about skills anymore.

The veteran mentor shared that during high-stakes games like they’re about to enter, it is about wanting it more than your opponent.

“I think hindi masyadong paguusapan yung skills, siguro yung eagerness na gustuhin mong manalo this coming semis.”

Game 1 will be this coming Thursday at the Philsports Arena. The other bracket pits Creamline against Chery Tiggo.

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