Cignal rose back from the dead, mounting an epic comeback from a 0-2 deficit to stun Choco Mucho in five sets, 18-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 15-10, in Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference semifinals, Thursday at the Philsports Arena.
“So, sobrang proud ako sa team especially sa mga players kasi grabe yung effort na ginusto nila and yeah, nagresult ng maganda pero hindi kami pwedeng maging complacent pero pwede namin enjoyin yung panalo namin,” said head coach Shaq delos Santos.
The HD Spikers found themselves face-to-face with defeat after a lackadaisical performance in the first two sets, but managed to stay alive courtesy of a blistering 10-1 finishing kick in the third that turned a slim 15-13 lead to a 25-19 win to force a fourth set.
With their confidence back, Cignal cruised past the Flying Titans in the fourth frame, establishing an early 15-7 advantage that the latter never recovered from before eventually turning back a rejuvenated Choco Mucho in the decider.
The HD Spikers kick-started the final frame with a 4-1 rally but Choco Mucho, through the collective effort of Kat Tolentino, Isa Molde, Chery Nunag, and Sisi Rondina, was able to take a 10-9 edge after consecutive points from Rondina and Molde.
Unfortunately, that proved to be it as Jovelyn Gonzaga pierced through the Flying Titans’ blockers for the kill that ignited a 6-0 run, capped off by a Riri Meneses block on Tolentino, to finish the game and snap Choco Mucho’s 10-game winning streak.
“Una, thank you kay Lord kasi grabe yung binigay nyang lakas samin. We know naman na hindi parin talaga nasunod yung mga gusto namin but ang good thing after second set that’s the time na realize namin na kailangan na namin trabahuhin lahat,” added delos Santos.
Molina delivered an impressive all-around performance to power the HD Spikers’ come-from-behind victory, firing a game-high 23 points on 20 attacks, two blocks, and an ace to go along with 19 excellent digs and 16 excellent receptions.
Vanie Gandler added 17 points while Gonzaga chipped in 16 points on 16 attacks and 17 excellent digs in two hours and 25 minutes of play..
Gel Cayuna dished out 29 excellent sets while Bia General registered 23 excellent digs.
On the other hand, the Flying Titans, who last dropped a game on October 15 against Creamline, were led by Rondina with 19 points and 15 excellent receptions.
Tolentino scored 16 points, Molde had 11 markers, while Nunag and Maddie Madayag had 10 points each in the loss.
Deanna Wong tossed 25 excellent sets to go along with 11 excellent digs while Thang Ponce had 27 excellent digs.