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Cignal Dominates Gerflor, Secures Semifinal Clash with Choco Mucho

MANILA, Philippines — Cignal clinched the No.3 seed to set a best-of-three semifinals series duel against the second-place Choco Mucho in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference.

Coming off a 10-day break, the HD Spikers unleashed a balanced attack to send Gerflor to a winless campaign, 25-22, 25-11, 25-10, and complete the semifinals cast on Tuesday at Philsports Arena. Cignal finished the preliminary round with an 8-3 card tied with Chery Tiggo but the former got the third seed due to superior set points with 25 — three ahead of the latter. Creamline, which was going for an 11-game sweep against Galeries Tower as of posting, battles Chery Tiggo in the other semifinals series starting on Thursday at Philsports Arena. The HD Spikers’ win also ended the semis hopes of the Petro Gazz Angels and PLDT High Speed Hitters, who collide in the final game of the preliminaries at 6 p.m.

Cignal HD Spikers’ Ces Molina. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

“We’re so happy and blessed because we went through a lot of hardships and now we’re in the semis as the No.3 seed,” said Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos in Filipino. “We have to be more eager and work harder in the semis. I trust my team so I have to give them a good game plan in the semis.” Ces Molina led the collective effort of Cignal with nine points and eight excellent receptions, while Gen Casugod was a revelation from the bench as she finished with nine points including three aces, playing in the last two sets of the match. “This is the time that we can’t be complacent going to the semis because it will be harder in the semis,” said Molina. Vanie Gandler, who celebrated her 23rd birthday, finished with eight points for a double celebration as the HD Spikers made their second semis appearance in the three-conference season. Jovelyn Gonzaga chipped in seven markers, as setter Gel Cayuna made 16 excellent sets and five points from three aces. “Of course, we’re very happy but the job’s not over. Now we need to recover and practice for the upcoming games,” Gandler said. Gerflor ended its campaign with a 0-11 record, amid financial issues before a good samaritan helped its players and coaches. A new owner will take over next season to manage the team, which has yet to win in 16 games including the Invitational Conference.

Danika Gendrauli and Shang Berte led the Defenders with nine and eight points, respectively.

Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos, Ces Molina, and birthday Vanie Gandler after clinching the No.3 spot in the semis. #PVL2023

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, December 5, 2023