MANILA, Philippines — Cignal dominated Vietnam’s Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh in straight sets, 25-13, 25-15, 25-20, to secure a spot in the battle for bronze in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference on Thursday at Philsports Arena.
After losing back-to-back games that shattered their title hopes, the HD Spikers banked on Ces Molina’s 19-point outing to vent their ire on the Vietnamese squad and keep their chance for a podium finish after finishing with a 2-3 record in the round-robin semis.
Molina dropped 16 kills, two aces, and a block on top of eight digs, while Jovelyn Gonzaga chipped in 10 points and eight receptions. Gel Cayuna orchestrated Cignal’s offense with 23 excellent sets on top of five points.
Rose Doria added nine points including five blocks, and Rachel Anne Daquis and Ria Meneses contributed eight markers each only playing in the first two sets.
“We had a chance to rest and we made sure to win the game. Like what I told them, we don’t have the right to lose again,” said Cayuna in Filipino.
Cignal took full control of the first two sets but Kinh Bac put up a better fight against the local club’s bench players in the third. Vanie Gandler and Jacqueline Acuna put on the finishing touches in the third to finish with a combined seven points — all from the final set.
“We just needed to break their momentum. Even though we had a different line-up in the third, they have the same skills as the starting six,” said the HD Spikers coach Shaq Delos Santos in Filipino.
“I’m happy with this win because after our disappointing outings from the last two games. It’s part of the journey but we’re still thankful because we’re still healthy amid the tiring schedule,” he added.
Cignal is tied with PLDT but the former has seven points — a marker ahead of the latter. F2 Logistics, which holds a 1-3 record, eyes the last berth for the battle for third against Kinh Bac. If the Cargo Movers win in three or four sets, they will face the HD Spikers for the last spot on the podium.
Nguyen Huong led the Vietnamese with 12 points, while Le Xuan had 10 points only to remain winless in four games.
Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos and Gel Cayuna after securing a spot for the battle for third. #PVL2023
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Thursday, July 27, 2023
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