MANILA, Philippines – Cignal pounced on F2 Logistics' faulty reception in the fourth set to pull off a 27-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19 win in the 2017 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The HD Spikers fired four of their nine service aces in the deciding set to cruise to their third straight win, and enter the second round as the top seed in Pool A of the club league.
Jovelyn Gonzaga spearheaded Cignal's attack with 17 kills for a total of 18 points, while Rachel Anne Daquis and Royse Tubino torched the Cargo Movers' defense from the open position.
Daquis emerged with 16 points, while Tubino added 15 for Cignal, who will join the top two finishers in Pool B in Round 2.
"All of the strong teams are in our bracket, so there will be little adjustment for us in Round 2," said Cignal coach George Pascua, whose wards defeated Petron and Sta. Lucia before trouncing the defending champions F2 Logistics.
"The chemistry of our team, especially our setter (Chie Saet), is starting to take place. They already know what to do by just observing the body language of each other," he added. "We also had a (training) camp (in Japan) so we had a little bonding. I think that’s our biggest advantage."
The HD Spikers jumped the gun early to win the first two sets in impressive fashion, but slowed down in the third where they committed seven service errors.
But they regained their rhythm in the fourth set, with Daquis and Saet doing damage from the service box that prevented the Cargo Movers from setting up their offense.
"I told them to minimize those errors in the fourth set," said Pascua.
UAAP Season 79 MVP Majoy Baron had 14 points, while Kianna Dy scored nine for the Cargo Movers, who suffered their second straight loss.
They still have a chance to avert a complete shutout when they tangle with Sta. Lucia Realty on Thursday in the first out-of-town game of this league in Bacoor City.
In the second match, Petron bounced back with an emphatic straight-set victory over Sta. Lucia, 25-18, 25-16, 25-20.
Bernadeth Pons and Sisi Rondina took turns in piercing the Lady Realtors' defense to tow Petron to their second win in three games.
With the win, Petron joined Cignal in Pool C in the second round.
Pons delivered seven kills and three aces for 10 points, while Rondina had six kills to finish with seven points behind Aiza Maizo-Pontillas’s nine markers.
“Knowing our team, we have to work hard to squeeze out the skills and talent of our players," said Petron coach Shaq Delos Santos after avenging their four-set loss to the CD Spikers over the weekend.
"Last game, it was out errors that killed us. Their (HD Spikers) points came from us. So we made the team realized that it shouldn’t happen again. I hope we can use that experience to move forward and win our next matches."
Newcomer MJ Phillips was the lone bright spot with 11 kills for a total of 12 points for Sta. Lucia, which absorbed its second straight loss.
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