PVL: Cignal learns lesson from semis exit, vows to bounce back in Invitationals
MANILA, Philippines — After failing to reach the Open Conference Finals, Cignal is eager to bounce back this Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitationals which opens Saturday next week at San Juan Arena.
Cignal head coach Shaq Delos Santos said his wards learned their lesson after falling a game short of making their first PVL Finals appearance last April, losing to PetroGazz in Game 3 of the Open Conference semifinals.
“We hope to overcome all our (lapses) and our bad experience last conference. We learned our lesson,” said Delos Santos in Filipino during the league’s guesting in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum last Tuesday.
The HD Spikers swept the four-game pool stage and eliminated BaliPure in the quarterfinals and Game One of the semis before losing the series.
Cignal ended the tournament with a bronze medal after beating Choco Mucho in the battle for third.
“It was a great experience last conference. We saw our strengths and weaknesses,” said the former national team coach. “As a team (with new players), we’re still establishing the system. But knowing our team, they’re always willing to push harder and to learn more to be good this coming tournament.”
Bannered by Best Setter Gel Cayuna, Best Outside Hitter Ces Molina, and Best Middle Blockers Ria Meneses and Rose Doria, the HD Spikers are ready to face all participating local teams this time in a single round robin with the top four advancing to the semis round with two foreign squads from Taiwan and Japan.
“This will be more challenging for us because we will face all the teams. But it will be a better experience for us,” Delos Santos said. “We have to prepare well because every game is important. We can’t relax, we have to be all out every game.”
Cignal opens its Invitationals campaign against Black Mamba Army on Saturday.
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