Cignal halts Cagayan Super Liga win streak

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CIGNAL dealt Cagayan Valley its first defeat with an emphatic 25-18, 25-21, 25-22 victory last night to breathe life into its campaign in the Super Liga women’s volleyball tournament at Philsports Arena.

Employing fast plays which threw off their opponents’ vaunted floor defense, the HD Spikers snapped their  two-game losing streak for a 2-2 record.

Fille Cainglet had a breakout game as Petron chalked up its second win with an 18-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-16 triumph over PCSO Bingo Milyonaryo in the opening match.

Silent in the previous games, the Ateneo stalwart delivered 18 points, most of them in the second and third sets as the Blaze Spikers improved to a 2-2 mark.

The Puffins, despite their triple towers Michelle Gumabao, Maureen Penetrante and Ivy Remulla, slumped to 1-3.

“We tried to analyze our past two losses and studied their (Cagayan) game,” said Cignal coach Sinfronio Acaylar. “I also noticed that Cagayan was off today.”

Already a heavy contender after a 3-0 start, Cagayan visibly lacked intensity and wasn’t in the match except in the third set when the Lady Rising Suns zoomed to a 9-6 lead only to allow the HD Spikers to come back.

Venus Bernal paced Cignal with 21 points, 16 of them winners, while Honey Royse Tubino and Danika Gendrauli added 13 and 11, respectively.

Aiza Maizo also accounted for 18 points for Petron, including 16 kills, but it was Cainglet’s sudden burst of brilliance that gave the Blaze Spikers the winning edge.

“Maybe this is the mixture we are trying to find,” said Petron coach Vilet Ponce de Leon. “I’m very glad Fille stepped up today.”

Stephanie Mercado, daughter of former Asia’s sprints queen Lydia de Vega, knocked in most of her 11 points for PCSO in the opening frame.

But Petron took control as Cainglet started to find her range while libero Melissa Gohing and Ma. Angeli Tabaquero built an impenetrable defensive wall.

Gohing had 16 successful digs, while Tabaquero deflected 10 which blunted PCSO’s repeated assaults.

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