Cignal ends Petron’s reign to barge into PSL All-Filipino finals
MANILA, Philippines–Something dramatic and movie-like happened on the way to the finals Thursday night.
Petron, the two-time defending champion hoping to make its eight straight championships appearance, got ambushed by a hungry band of first-timers called Cignal HD.
The HD Spikers, who have never been to a major conference finals, put up a giant-slaying performance to dethrone Blaze Spikers despite losing a two-sets-to-love advantage.
It was as if the crown was already won as Cignal put the finishing touches on its thrilling 30-28, 25-21, 17-25, 23-25, 15-8 victory to make the finals of the Philippine Superliga All Filipino Conference.
The rest of the HD Spikers, led by coach Edgar Barroga, stormed the center court of the FilOil Flying V Center as they negated Petron’s twice-to-beat incentive which seemed high improbable at the onset.
But a fired up HD Spikers, led by veterans tandem of Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga who together produced 39 points, put an exciting twist on the narrative.
They begin the best-of-three finals against F2 Logistics on Saturday at Araneta Coliseum.
“The Lord made this happen. He was in control,” said an emotional Gonzaga who has now played, and won, three straight five-set matches in as many evenings — including that with another team in another league.
“Thank you. It was all worth it. The patience I did. And the patience my team gave to me. I was telling them that I will make up for them,” added Gonzaga referring to her two-year layoff due to injury.
She scored four of her 17 points in the fifth set which saw Petron commit one attack error after another to yield the match that lasted for almost three hours.
Daquis topscored with 21 points but she and Gonzaga got big help from prolific new setter Alohi Robins-Hardy, and underrated teammates Jannine Navarro, Ranya Musa, Mylene Paat and Jheck Dionela.
It was a story book ride for Cignal which finished the double-round preliminary at fifth spot, and had to beat Generika-Ayala to make the semifinals.
The HD Spikers last made the finals in the 2017 Invitationals, a short conference in between The All Filipino and the import-laden
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