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PVL: Cignal thwarts Akari debut of Domingo, Soltones

Cignal spoiled the Akari debut of Grethcel Soltones and Ced Domingo, 21-25, 25-18, 25-12, 25-18, in the 2024 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference, Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The HD Spikers recovered from a slow start in the opener before clamping up the Chargers in the next three, which ruined the homecoming of Domingo, who was coming off a championship in the Women’s Thailand Volleyball League with Nakhon Ratchasima.

“Thankful kasi naka-survive kami sa game. ‘Yung first set namin nag relax kami sa endgame pero after that set naka-recover kami so thank you Lord,” said Cignal head coach Shaq delos Santos after the win.

With the Chargers threatening to send the game to a fifth set, Vanie Gandler took charge and fired three consecutive points to anchor a 6-0 run, breaking a 7-all deadlock and turning it into a 13-7 advantage.

Akari never recovered from there, trading hits with Cignal until Gel Cayuna, Chai Troncoso, and Rose Doria put on the finishing touches to seal the win after two hours of action.

“Actually, kailangan talaga mag-improve kami like yung napag-usapan namin before sa team building. Championship talaga yung gusto naming targetin,” added delos Santos.

Gandler, who was coming off an impressive rookie year, top-scored for the HD Spikers with 19 points on 17 attacks, an ace, and a block to lead the team’s winning debut.

Doria and Ces Molina tallied 16 points apiece for Cignal while Meneses tallied 13 points on 10 attacks and three blocks.

Dawn Macandili registered 22 excellent digs and 11 excellent receptions in her HD Spiker debut while Gel Cayuna tossed 24 excellent sets to go along with three points.

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Cignal will face Galeries Tower next Saturday, 2:00 p.m. at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

On the other hand, Soltones finished with a triple-double of 14 points, 13 excellent receptions, and 12 excellent digs in her first game in a Chargers jersey while Dindin Santiago-Manabat added 12 markers in a losing effort.

Faith Nisperos was limited to just seven points while Domingo only had two points after playing in just the final two sets of the contest.

Meanwhile, Akari will take on defending champion Creamline on Thursday, 4:00 p.m. also in Philsports.

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