PVL: Cignal Seizes Victory Over Chery Tiggo, Closing in on Bronze Finish
MANILA, Philippines — Cignal inched closer to another bronze medal in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) after venting its ire on Chery Tiggo, 25-19, 21-25, 25-15, 25-20, in Game 1 of their best-of-three battle for third in the second All-Filipino Conference on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Licking the wounds after their semifinal series meltdown to first-time finalist Choco Mucho two days ago, Vanie Gandler stepped up to show the way for the HD Spikers with a game-high 21 points, nearing the team’s fourth PVL bronze in the past seven tournaments.
“That’s sports. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and we just have to accept it and move forward. Yesterday, coach Shaq [Delos Santos] was right. It was a bit hard but I think today, what we put our minds on is the fight is not over and that to get a bronze medal is still a big achievement. So that’s our main focus right now,” said Gandler after the game.
“I just really want to fight for my team. Because they’ve helped me so much, and I wanna help them get another medal. It was heavy on us that ate Rachel [Daquis] is not with us, but we still feel her support and today I just really wanted to fight for them ‘cause I know how hard we worked and how much we want this,” she added.
Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos praised his wards for moving forward despite the heartbreaking result of their semis duel against Choco Mucho, which they beat in Game 1 but failed to clinch the series.
“To be honest, yesterday’s training had a sad ambiance. Good thing, going into this game we’re all happy. We have to value the bronze medal and we have to fight until the end,” said Delos Santos in Filipino.
“The semis had a huge impact on us and we learned the lesson. It’s the same scenario after winning Game 1 but we can’t let go of this chance to win the bronze in Game 2. Even if it’s a bronze medal, we still worked hard for it and we’ll be proud to have it.”
Jovelyn Gonzaga also led the HD Spikers with 15 points including three blocks and had 17 digs and 12 excellent receptions. Ces Molina tallied 13 points,14 digs, and 14 excellent receptions, while setter Gel Cayuna dished out 21 excellent sets on top of two points.
Gandler credited her teammates for leaving everything on the floor despite missing the finals anew.
“I’m very happy of course with how the team performed. Given that we didn’t have much time to rest, we’re very tired but today was really more of a test of character and heart so we all just poured our hearts out. Hopefully, the same will happen on Saturday,” she said.
Cignal tries to clinch the bronze in Game 2 on Saturday while Chery Tiggo absorbed its fifth straight loss.
Pauline Gaston powered the Crossovers with 14 points including three blocks. Eya Laure delivered 13 points and 10 digs. Mylene Paat chipped in 13 points. EJ Laure had 12 points, while libero Jennifer Nierva protected the floor with 22 excellent receptions and 16 digs.