PVL: Setter Ayel Estranero steps up for Cignal with Gel Cayuna out | Inquirer Sports

PVL: Setter Ayel Estranero steps up for Cignal with Gel Cayuna out

/ 10:41 PM July 16, 2022

Cignal setter Ayel Estranero.

Cignal setter Ayel Estranero. –PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines —Instead of letting the pressure of filling in for Angel Cayuna get to her,  Cignal setter Ayel Estranero chooses to make most of the chances to help her team in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference.

With reigning best setter Cayuna skipping Saturday’s game to rest according to to head coach Shaq Delos Santos, Estranero proved her worth in pacing the HD Spikers’ balanced attack to stay unbeaten in three games with a 5-23, 25-16, 25-18 victory over the winless Chery Tiggo Crossovers at San Juan Arena. 

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“I’m very grateful for the trust and help from my coaches and teammates. It would have been tough for me to play the way I played today because I’m gaining my strength and confidence from their trust,” said Estranero, who dished out 12 excellent sets.

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The University of the Philippines standout enjoyed setting up the plays for resilient spikers Ces Molina, who once again showed the way with 16 points, Rachel Anne Daquis, and Angeli Araneta as well as middle blockers Rose Doria and Ria Meneses.

“It’s a privilege (to set the plays for them). Because not everyone gets a chance to have them as teammates. Playing with them hits me differently, whatever set I make, even I make mistakes, they will do their best (to hit the ball),” Estranero said in Filipino.

Delos Santos was pleased with Estranero’s performance, helping the  team to just a win away from securing a slot in the next round, where the top four squads will play against guest teams from Japan and Taipei in another round-robin.

“I’m proud of her. Ayel made the most of the opportunity given to her. Knowing her, she is always ready to deliver. Before the game, I already explained her role for this game,” said the Cignal coach in Filipino.

Delos Santos didn’t disclose the reason behind resting Cayuna. But Cignal’s starting setter’s availability on Thursday against unbeaten Creamline is still up in the air.

Estranero is ready to step up again, even going up against ace setter Jia Morado and the star-studded Cool Smashers.

“The pressure is always there. As an athlete, you feel that even in training. But as coach said, we will just focus on our process. We’re not looking ahead into the game on Thursday,” she said. “We will go back in training to address our lapses. Our goal is just to keep on improving as a team, including our chemistry and performance.”

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TAGS: Ayel Estrañero, Cignal HD Spikers, Gel Cayuna, PVL

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