Cignal import Tai Bierria did not play the entirety of the first set in their all-important clash against F2 Logistics that would affect their Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference fate on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But the rest of the HD Spikers proved that they can still perform well despite having their guest player on the bench as they pounced the Cargo Movers in the opener, 25-21.
That paved the way for Cignal’s 25-21, 20-25, 25-14, 25-20 victory over F2 Logistics to move at 4-3 and enhance its chances of making the round-robin semifinals.
Head coach Shaq Delos Santos bared that not fielding Bierria was a strategy, but at the same time, the import was not feeling well yesterday.
“Actually, yesterday nga napag-usapan naming mga coaches and ‘yung preparation din namin mas naka-focus din kami sa All-Filipino yesterday. Yesterday din hindi gaano maganda ‘yung pakiramdam ni Tai kaya pinagrest namin siya,” said Delos Santos, who is also the new tactician of University of the Philippines’ women’s volleyball team.
“Knowing them, alam ko naman na magtatrabaho at magpeperform kasi mas mabilis din ‘yung communication, madali lang ‘yung adjustment.”
Star setter Gel Cayuna had no problems playing with an All-Filipino cast with familiarity and chemistry more intact.
The 5-foot-6 playmaker out of Far Eastern University dished out 17 excellent sets to go with four points on two service aces.
“May import man o wala, malaki ‘yung tiwala ko sa lahat ng spikers ko kaya nagpapa-boost pa rin ng morale ko yun na All-Filipino kasi mas may experience din talaga ako na kami-kami lang,” shared Cayuna.
Molina’s explosion was expected by Cayuna, who knows to find her, especially in crucial moments when Cignal badly needs some points.
The 5-foot-9 outside hitter incurred an ankle injury last Invitational Conference and is slowly getting back on her groove, coming in the best of times as the HD Spikers are looking to enter the next round.
“Thankful kasi malaking bagay din silang dalawa (Molina and Ria Meneses) and mas madali siguro na kapag crucial na, alam mo na kung sinong hahanapin mo,” closed Cayuna.