Cignal HD grabs first PVL win, outlasts Sta. Lucia

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2021 05:24 PM | Updated as of Jul 21 2021 06:07 PM

Cignal HD grabs first PVL win, outlasts Sta. Lucia 1
Cignal HD celebrates after scoring against Sta. Lucia. PVL Media Bureau.

(UPDATED) Cignal HD recovered from an error-strewn third set to take down Sta. Lucia, 25-22, 25-18, 13-25, 25-20, and register their first win of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference, Wednesday at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte. 

It was a strong performance from the HD Spikers, who were coming off a loss against Chery Tiggo last Monday. 

"Nakaka-proud, ang bilis ng adjustment," said Cignal coach Shaq delos Santos. "Imagine, one game, wala kaming laro, and then may laro na ulit."

"Good thing, kahit papaano, lumalabas ang preparation namin. Hopefully, mas mag-improve pa kasi talagang nasa process kami ng transition ng team," he added.

Middle blocker Rosely Doria earned Player of the Game honors as she did a little bit of everything with five kills, five blocks, and four aces for 14 points. Janine Marciano matched Doria's total, while May Luna added 10 points.

The HD Spikers showed their poise in the first set, weathering a late charge by the Lady Realtors to get the win. A backrow attack by MJ Phillips knotted the count at 22, but Rachel Anne Daquis crushed an attack off the blockers, and setter Ayel Estranero scored off a drop before Norielle Ipac pounced on an over-received ball to seal the win. 

Fiola Ceballos was crucial to their late run, as her superb serves set up Estranero and Ipac's points. 

After a comfortable victory in Set 2, the HD Spikers looked to be on their way to a quick victory as they led, 6-2, in the third set. But the Lady Realtors rallied behind Jovelyn Prado, whose strong serving allowed Sta. Lucia to get back in the match. 

Cignal HD did not help its cause as it committed a whopping 12 errors in the third set, and a Phillips winner sent the match to a fourth frame.

The HD Spikers raced to an 18-10 advantage in Set 4 before the Lady Realtors clawed their way back again. A kill and an ace by Jonah Sabete made it a three-point game, 21-18, but Dell Palomata committed a net touch violation to hand the momentum back to Cignal HD. 

A kill by Kai Baloaloa briefly kept the Lady Realtors alive, 24-20, but Ceballos struck the match winner to seal the deal in an hour and 44 minutes.

"Nagtutulungan lahat, hindi lang ako," said Marciano. "Team effort talaga."

Phillips led all scorers with 20 points on 17 kills and two blocks, while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas finished with 15 markers. Prado had 11 points off the bench.

However, Sta. Lucia could not build on a straight sets victory over PLDT, also last Monday. The Lady Realtors dropped to 1-2 in the tournament.