Robins-Hardy shines as Cignal gets back at Foton
Cignal HD minimized the damage wrought by Foton’s formidable twin engines to score a 25-23, 21-25, 25-14, 25-21 victory on Thursday night in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre.
With hardwork on defense and a well-distributed offense, the HD Spikers neutralized the Tornadoes’ height advantage built on sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat, and thus avenged their first-round loss.
Six-foot-2 setter Alohi Robins-Hardy refused to merely open up scoring alleys for Mylene Paat and Rachel Anne Daquis, and became a hitter herself to key the HD Spikers’ sixth win in 11 matches.
Cignal also got a lot of help from Foton’s unusually erratic service games as the Tornadoes committed eight service errors, five of them in the opening set alone.
After leveling the match at one set all, the Tornadoes suddenly dissipated, allowing the HD Spikers to score six kill-blocks and three aces in the lopsided third set.
At that frame, Cignal coach Edgar Barroga felt they got Foton’s number.
“That’s when the players’ confidence went up,” Barroga said.
Daquis topscored with 18 points, while Paat had 17 and Robins-Hardy 15 aside from tossing 24 excellent sets.
Manabat scored 25 points, while Santiago had 10 but their efforts weren’t in sync with the rest of the Tornadoes, who now dropped two successive matches.
Foton, which missed the services of injured veteran Maika Ortiz, slid to 7-5.