Cignal posts 4-set triumph over Petro Gazz
Cignal and F2 Logistics both take the early lead in Group B of the 2023 PVL Invitational Conference as Cignal displayed resilience and fought back from a setback to claim an 18-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-22 victory over Petro Gazz on Tuesday.
The HD Spikers managed to unsettle the Angels with their well-executed combination plays and capitalized on drop balls, stringing together four consecutive hits to seize control at 17-16. Despite Jonah Sabete saving a match point for Petro Gazz, Cignal capitalized on the Angels' offensive lapses in the fourth set, ultimately securing the win.
Ces Molina led the charge for Cignal with an impressive 22-point performance, while Jovelyn Gonzaga showcased her indoor volleyball skills after focusing on beach volleyball earlier in the season, contributing 11 attack points and a total of 13 points. Roselyn Doria added 12 hits, and Riri Meneses scored 11 points. Rookie Vanessa Gandler, a former Ateneo standout, also made an impact with eight points.
Cignal coach Shaq de los Santos commented on his team's slow start, stating, "I just reminded them that we needed to execute our plays. We actually came into the match ready against Petro. We struggled a bit in the beginning, but after a while, our service and reception improved."
Gonzaga expressed her excitement about playing for Cignal, saying, "It's extremely fulfilling to play again with Cignal. I'm so excited. Although we had a bit of a struggle in the first set, I told myself that I needed to step up."
Petro Gazz launched a strong offensive assault in the first set, amassing 67 attack points, ten more than Cignal. However, the HD Spikers countered with eight blocks and eight aces compared to their rivals' two each. Additionally, Cignal capitalized on Petro Gazz's errors, scoring 21 points from their opponents' mistakes while yielding only 14 points of their own.
Grethcel Soltones matched Molina's impressive point total, while Sabete provided support with 21 hits. However, Remy Palma contributed only nine markers, and Marian Buitre and Aiza Pontillas added seven and six hits, respectively, for the Angels, who finished as runners-up in the recent PVL All-Filipino Conference, falling to the Creamline Cool Smashers.
Soltones made a valiant effort to keep the Angels in the game, delivering three consecutive powerful spikes that narrowed the gap to 19-20. After Molina and Gonzaga traded hits with Aiza Pontillas, Cignal reached match point with consecutive hits from Molina and Chin Basas. Although Sabete briefly halted the HD Spikers' momentum with a block touch, the Angels faltered on a basic play as Jellie Tempiatura mishandled the set-up for their counter-attack, resulting in their final error and allowing Cignal to secure the win.
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