Cignal braced for the worst during its preparation heading into the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference.
The HD Spikers have been practicing pressure-packed five-set matches in anticipation of the hard semifinals where only the four best teams in the league will advance.
Fast forward to Thursday, Cignal was put in the situation it was practicing for.
Facing a two-sets-to-none deficit, the HD Spikers mustered their strength to turn the game around and stun Choco Mucho, 18-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 15-10, to move on the verge of entering the Finals.
That win also snapped the Flying Titans’ 10-game winning streak.
“Syempre, ito yung pinag-preparan namin, yung five sets na ganito naghanda din kami talaga na ganito kahabang training, nagte-training kami ng ganito kahaba para sa mangyayari ng ganitong five sets,” bared team captain Ces Molina after the two-hour, 25-minute battle.
“Naging motivation rin namin yung isa’t isa and yung pagod namin all throughout the conference so yun, pinush lang namin talaga yung sarili namin. Talagang malaking bagay na lahat talaga nag-contribute.”
Vanie Gandler also delivered 17 points, Jovelyn Gonzaga added 16, while Ria Meneses and Hel Cayuna had nine apiece.
Her voice, along with Gonzaga, also calmed the team after going down 0-2.
“Actually ako personally, hindi ko talaga naramdaman na matatalo kami. Parang yung two sets (down), okay, may isa pang set, may dalawa pang set, may tatlo pang set and nakikita ko yung teammates ko talaga yung eagerness talaga manalo sa game,” said the army sergeant.
All of a sudden, the mighty Flying Titans are in the face of elimination while the HD Spikers are on the cusp of getting a Finals ticket after missing entirely the post-season during the First AFC.
Game 2 is set on Saturday, 4 p.m., still at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.