By NIKOLE JAVIER
Cignal bounced back from an opening set hiccup to pull off a stunning 23-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-18 victory over No. 1 seed Creamline in the round-robin semis of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference on Sunday, Nov. 27, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
American Tai Bierria led the way for Cignal with 21 points built on 17 attacks, three blocks and an ace as the HD Spikers notched their second straight win that pushed them closer to a dream finals appearance.
The HD Spikers’ blockings anchored on Bierria, Rachel Daquis and Ria Meneses proved to be the difference as they forced the Cool Smashers to commit 17 more errors than they did which helped them get the job done.
Despite erupting for 61 attacks compared to the 49 of the HD Spikers, the Cool Smashers could only managed to inch closer within two in the fourth set off a Celine Domingo quick, 10-8.
The two-point lead, however, would go on to balloon by as much as eight after a 10-4 run capped by Bierria’s off-the-block kill to end a long rally.
Now at 24-16, the Cool Smashers were able to save two match points before \Meneses punctuated the set with a quick attack.
Alyssa Valdez’ 20-point outing went down the drain – no thanks to Cignal’s collective defensive effort.
Creamline also got 17 from Yeliz Basa and a combined 23-point output from Jema Galanza and Jeanette Panaga but there were not enough to cow the HD Spikers.
In the other game, Petro Gazz bounced back in a convincing fashion with a 25-15, 25-17, 25-13 over Chery Tiggo.
Lindsey Vander Weide finished with 18 points off 14 attacks and four aces to tow the Angels to a dominant victory as they drew level with Creamline and their victim at 1-1.
Myla Pablo and Aiza Pontillas also chipped in 15 and 11 points, respectively.