Cignal shoots for sweep vs RC Cola
CIGNAL will try to sustain its strength and sweep the first round of eliminations when it goes up against RC Cola-Air Force Sunday in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix women’s volleyball at Cuneta Astrodome.
Suddenly the league yardstick after winning their fourth straight game, the HD Spikers will have their hands full against the Raiders who are coming off back-to-back defeats.
Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar, however, remained cautious of their next assignment, knowing that every team will try to bring them back to earth.
“Yes, we are on top of the standing, but we still have to remain hungry and avoid being complacent. Other teams are preparing and adjusting as well. We are taking this tournament one game at a time,” said Acaylar.
Cignal gets its ballast from imports Ariel Usher and Amanda Anderson who managed to fit into the HD Spikers’ system quicker than their counterparts from other teams.
That can’t be said of RC Cola as top-tier Puerto Rican workhorse Lynda Morales and youthful American Sara McClinton seemed to be the only ones who can stand the long grind.
RC Cola-Air Force’s local crew, led by veterans Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz and Judy Ann Caballejo, clearly doesn’t have the same level of endurance as the reinforcements as they fade when the going gets tough. Its defense is also suspect with no dominant libero in the squad.
That glaring imbalance was evident when the Raiders squandered a two-set lead to bow to Philips Gold Thursday (25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 21-25, 8-15).
Another team on a hot streak is Philips Gold which will clash with Foton in the second game.
The Lady Slammers are on a three-game winning streak anchored on the chemistry between their locals and imports Bojana Todorovic and Alexis Olgard.
One thing going for Philips Gold is it has another scoring threat in power-hitting Myla Pablo.
“That’s the beauty of having Bojana, she used to play libero in the States so she’s very vocal in motivating her teammates,” said Philips Gold coach Francis Vicente. “She’s a born leader, very passionate and knows what it takes to win. She’s whom we need, especially if the game is on the line.”