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Cignal Dominates to Claim Bronze, Sweeping Chery Tiggo in PVL

MANILA, Philippines — Cignal ended its Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season with a bronze medal after completing a sweep of Chery Tiggo,  18-25, 25-21, 25-22, 26-24, in their battle for third series in the second All-Filipino Conference on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Vanie Gandler, once again, showed the way for the HD Spikers with 22 points — all coming from attacks, to become the team with the most bronze medals in the league with four, surpassing Creamline and the defunct Perlas Spikers, who finished third thrice. 

“I’m just very, very, very happy because I know how tired we are. I know how much work we’ve put in and we’ve sacrificed so much and today I really felt the fight from each player, each coach, up to the management. So I’m very thankful,” said Gandler, who had a breakthrough in her second conference with Cignal.

Ces Molina had 14 points for Cignal, while Jovelyn Gonzaga chipped in 12 points including three blocks on top of 11 digs and seven excellent receptions, following their 25-19, 21-25, 25-15, 25-20 win in Game 1.

“It’s a personal growth for our team. My teammates stepped up whoever entered the court, contributed. We’re happy for everyone. Hopefully next season, we will play better,” said Molina in Filipino.

Cignal HD Spikers.–PVL PHOTO

Although the HD Spikers swept the series, they were pushed to the limits by the Crossovers, especially in the fourth after Chery Tiggo saved two match points to force a deuce, 24-all, after back-to-back hits from Eya Laure and Pauline Gaston.

Gandler nailed an offspeed attack to put Cignal back at matchpoint, 25-24, before Laure’s attack went off the mark. However, Chery Tiggo challenged the call asking for a foot fault on Gonzaga’s attack before Laure’s error but after almost 10 minutes the challenge was inconclusive.

After another bronze, Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos hopes for a better finish next year, seeking to retain the core of his squad.

“Hopefully this bronze will shine brighter in the next conferences,” Delos Santos said.

Laure ended her rookie season with 17 points built on 12 attacks, four blocks, and one ace, leading the Crossovers. Mylene Paat had 16 points, while Cess Robles and Gaston chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Chery Tiggo ended the conference with six straight losses, missing the podium since its title run in 2021.