PVL: PLDT hammers short-handed Cignal to take semis berth

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2022 04:56 PM

Photo from PVL Media Bureau
Photo from PVL Media Bureau

MANILA – The PLDT High Speed Hitters clinched the third semifinals ticket of the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference after fending off the undermanned Cignal HD Spikers. 

The High Speed Hitters capitalized on the HD Spikers’ absence of key players in cruising to a 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22 win at the FilOil EcoOil Centre on Saturday.

PLDT finished the elimination round with a 4-2 win-loss card, tied with Cignal, who suffered its second consecutive loss after an impressive 4-0 start in the conference. 

The HD Spikers played without top hitters Ces Molina, who sprained her ankle in the previous game; Rachel Anne Daquis; Rose Doria; Ayel Estranero; Jerrili Malabanan; and Chai Troncoso. 

Mika Reyes led the High Speed Hitters with 14 points built on 12 attacks and two blocks.

Cignal carried the momentum from the third set as they went for a 13-9 lead in the fourth after an ace from Angeli Araneta. 

After a timeout, PLDT dropped a 7-1 run as Mika Reyes and Jules Samonte teamed up in front to overtake their opponents, 16-14. 

Tied at 22, Gel Cayuna committed a couple of errors that placed PLDT at matchpoint. Fiola Ceballos punctuated the game with a powerful spike. 

Cignal had a good start in the third frame with 4-0 lead capped by a block from Klarisa Abriam. But the High Speed Hitters rallied back and stole the upper hand off a crosscourt hit from Heather Guino-o, 9-8.

PLDT momentarily gained some rhythm for a 10-13 separation after a down-the-line spike from Erika Santos. But Cignal put up another run to regain the lead, 17-16. 

An ace from Riri Meneses gave Cignal a breather, 22-18. Jacqueline Acuña ended the set with an off-the-block hit to force an extension.