MANILA, Philippines — Cignal displayed grace under pressure and overcame Jolina Dela Cruz’s 30-point explosion for F2 Logistics for the 25-23, 22-25, 26-24, 26-24 win–its fifth straight– in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference.
When the game was tied at one set apiece and the Cargo Movers were on the verge of bagging the third set with a 24-21 edge, the HD Spikers fought back behind Vanie Gandler and Ces Molina to reach set point, 25-24, before Jovelyn Gonzaga nailed the frame-clinching block on F2 rookie Jovelyn Fernandez.
Despite taking a 2-1 match advantage, F2 Logistics didn’t go down without a fight as Dela Cruz scored her 30th point to tie the fourth set at 22-all before Gonzaga’s down-the-line hit and Myla Pablo’s crucial attack error pushed Cignal at match point, 24-22.
After Ivy Lacsina nailed a block on Molina and Pablo forced another deuce with her only point in the game, Gonzaga came to the rescue bringing back Cignal at match point, 25-24, and Molina drilled the game-winning kill to end the two-hour and 19-minute match.
“[Jovelyn and Ces] had a huge impact on our team. I just reminded them to keep on playing and flaunt their games. They struggled a bit but what’s important for us is they keep on working until the end of the game,” said Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos in Filipino on Thursday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
“I’m happy with the efforts they showed and to be honest when we were down, I told them to believe and we will win this game as long as we continue to work.”
Molina dropped 22 points to lead the HD Spikers to their fifth straight win and rise to the solo fourth place with a 6-2 record. They face a tough road ahead in their last three elimination games as they face the surging Chery Tiggo (6-1) on Tuesday next week at Philsports Arena.
“Our next games are more important to us because we have to work harder heading to the last part of the elimination. We need to hang tight, keep on pounding, and continue giving our best,” said the Cignal captain in Filipino.
Gonzaga delivered 15 points including a game-high four blocks to go with 11 digs. Gandler continued to shine for Cignal with 13 points and 10 digs, while middle blockers Rose Doria and Ria Meneses added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Setter Gel Cayuna dished out 22 excellent sets and scored four points.
Dela Cruz’s career game built on 28 kills, one block, and an ace went for naught as F2 Logistics absorbed its second straight loss, sliding to a 4-4 card in seventh place.
Ara Galang also lifted the Cargo Movers with 15 points, 15 excellent receptions, and 13 digs.
Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos and Ces Molina on staving off F2 Logistics. #PVL2023
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Thursday, November 16, 2023
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