Cignal HD shoots down high-flying Choco Mucho
Apparently not done carving out signature wins to showcase its turnaround from a dismal stint the last time out, Cignal HD delivered another highlight against an erstwhile undefeated foe with enviable roster depth and soaring morale.
The HD Spikers overturned an opening set stumble and sent the Choco Mucho Flying Titans crashing back to earth with a 20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-16 victory on Tuesday in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference at Paco Arena in Manila.
The victory put Cignal HD, a team that won just one out of nine assignments in the inaugural staging of the women’s professional league, within one more victory of pulling off a surprise sweep of the five-team Group A.
Before bringing down Choco Mucho and its beefed-up roster, Cignal HD knocked down defending champion Chery Tiggo and Philippine Superliga powerhouse F2 Logistics. Clinching a 3-0 record and a twice-to-beat bonus for the knockout quarterfinals, the HD Spikers will go for a sweep against embattled Army on Thursday.
“We need to communicate more and be ready in anticipation of the tougher grind,” said coach Shaq delos Santos, who leaned on the 17 points of Roselyn Doria in hammering out the one-hour, 43-minute victory.
“I’m proud of her (Doria). She’s always all-out in practice. Actually, she wasn’t satisfied with her performance in the first two games. She always knew she can do better. Hopefully, she continues to improve,” he added.
Ces Molina added 14 points while fellow veteran Rachel Anne Daquis finished with 10 points.
Choco Mucho dropped to 2-1 in a tie with F2 Logistics.
Even more sterling was the fact that Cignal HD, a team unheralded in preseason talk, carved out the victory on the back of a smashing performance at the net against a team with one of the most fearsome walls in the league, particularly in sets 2 and 4.
The HD Spikers were impressive in turning defense to offense, scoring 16 points off blocks against the Flying Titans’ paltry 3. At one point in the fourth set, Cignal had piled up 14 blocks points against Choco Mucho’s two.
In the second game, Chery Tiggo overpowered Army Black Mamba, 25-22, 25-17, 25-19, to stay alive for the fourth and last quarterfinal slot.