PVL: BaliPure shocks Cignal for back to back wins

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2021 09:30 PM | Updated as of Jul 25 2021 09:58 PM

PVL: BaliPure shocks Cignal for back to back wins 1
Grazielle Bombita shone anew for BaliPure against Cignal HD. PVL Media Bureau

MANILA (UPDATED) - BaliPure turned the tables on Cignal HD to claim a four-set win in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference, Sunday at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.

After a slow start, the Water Defenders got their act together and outplayed the HD Spikers the rest of the way.

With Player of the Week Grazielle Bombita setting the tone, BaliPure came away with a 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 victory that improved their record to 2-1. It was their second straight win, building on their five-set shocker over Chery Tiggo on Thursday.

"Actually, hindi ako satisfied sa nilaro namin kasi ang baba nung intensity nung start ng laro namin," BaliPure coach Rommel Abella said after the game. "Gusto ko nga sana sabi ko sa kanila maging baseline namin yung nilaro namin last game, doon kami magsimula."

"Kaya lang, mababa 'yung simula but good thing, naka-recover," he added. "Siyempre, in a way happy pa rinm, kasi 'yun nga, two-game winning streak kami."

Bombita scored 19 points, while Bern Flora (14), Gen Casugod (12) and Gyra Barroga (12) all reached double digits for the Water Defenders.

The Water Defenders struggled with their reception in the opening set, giving up five aces -- including the winner wherein Ranya Musa's service caught the tape of the net and dropped in.

Momentum was on Cignal's side and they surged to a 4-1 lead in Set 2, but the Water Defenders clawed their way back and pounced on the HD Spikers' errors to stay within striking distance. A Flora hit knotted the count at 20, and she then proceeded to score back-to-back aces to put BaliPure in control.

In Set 3, BaliPure built a 23-19 lead only for the HD Spikers to mount a comeback, with May Luna's off-the-block hit making it a one-point game, 23-22. But Casugod scored off a quick kill, and after Janine Marciano's hit was blocked to put the Water Defenders up two sets to one.

Now brimming with confidence, BaliPure dominated the fourth set and ran out to a 21-12 advantage. This time around, it was Cignal who struggled to receive, with Gyra Barroga firing four consecutive aces in one stretch that allowed the Water Defenders to build their comfortable lead.

But the veteran Marciano sparked their comeback. Her crosscourt hit trimmed the deficit to eight points, 21-13, and the HD Spikers were helped along by unforced errors from BaliPure. A one-two play by Ayel Estranero made it a one-point game, 23-22, forcing Abella to call a timeout.

Bombita came to the rescue, scoring off the Cignal blockers to bring BaliPure to match point. Fittingly, it was an ace by Satriani Espiritu -- their 12th of the match -- that wrapped up the victory for the Water Defenders after an hour and 50 minutes.

Marciano finished with 19 points, but was the lone Cignal player in double figures. Cignal HD dropped to 1-3 in the conference, good for joint eighth with the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors.