Emerging unscathed from ‘dead pool,’ Cignal looks to recover energy
Cignal HD coach Shaq delos Santos felt his team needs “full recovery” after sweeping what his players described as a “dead pool” elimination round.
The HD Spikers, after all, can’t afford for fatigue finally catching up with them during the knockout quarterfinals.
So there was a need to sound a bit of an alarm after Thursday’s match, when Cignal HD dropped a set against winless team Black Mamba Army before securing a 25-20, 20-25, 25-17, 25-19 victory in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference at Paco Arena in Manila.
“I don’t want to say it’s complacency on our part because my players have been playing straight days and in between we have to practice,” said Delos Santos in Filipino. “So I really think recovery is what we need now.”
He said the HD Spikers won’t be taking chances against the BaliPure Water Defenders, Pool B’s winless No. 4 team, whom they are paired against in Sunday’s quarterfinals.“We need to triple our effort in the next round; we can’t relax,” added Delos Santos, whose charges enjoy a twice-to-beat incentive. “If we can do it in one game, the better.”
Behind Royse Tubino’s 21 points, the Lady Troopers took the fight to the HD Spikers and even stole the second set. That forced Cignal to deploy top gunner Ces Molina who was still recuperating from a sprained ankle.
“As you can see, we tend to be shaky, but this is a good eliminations, we learned a lot,” added Delos Santos.
Molina amassed 12 points in the limited time she had, while setter Gel Cayuna had a field day tossing 41 excellent sets for the HD Spikers. Ria Meneses and Roselyn Doria accounted for 25 points aside from shielding Army attacks at the net for a combined nine kill-blocks.
“We are very happy over this win. We overcame what we call the ‘dead pool,’” said Cignal team captain Rachel Anne Daquis in Filipino, referring to the tougher half of the tournament groups. Daquis provided stability for the HD Spikers, scoring 13 points.