PVL: Gel Cayuna picks up where she left off to carry Cignal to big win
MANILA, Philippines — Gel Cayuna hardly missed a beat from a week-long absence as she propelled Cignal’s big win over Creamline to clinch a spot in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference semifinals.
The Open Conference Best Setter, who rested last Saturday’s game and just joined her team hours before their game, repaid the trust of her coach Shaq Delos Santos with a stellar performance off the bench to lead Cignal’s 25-21, 26-24, 14-25, 25-22 victory over Creamline on Thursday at Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.
“I’m thankful because coach Shaq still trusted me even though I haven’t trained with the team,” said Cayuna in Filipino. “Good thing, I worked out and kept myself in condition at home. And using my muscle memory, I was able to do the things I have to do inside the court.”
The Far Eastern University standout nailed a huge block on Jema Galanza, scored a crucial drop ball, and drilled an ace to give the HD Spikers the match point in the fourth set, 24-22, before Rachel Anne Daquis delivered the game-winning hit for their fourth straight win in as many matches.
Cayuna, who dished out 17 excellent sets that paced Cignal’s balanced attack and had six points including three service aces, credited their fourth straight win to her teammates’ perseverance and hard work to prevent Creamline from forcing a fifth set.
“We played bravely. Because we all know that Creamline has a lot of veteran players, who are used to playing in close games,” she said. “So we stayed patient and worked hard for every point.”
The HD Spikers remained unstoppable and assured a berth to the next round where they will be joined by Kobe Shinwa University of Japan and KingWhale Taipei for another round robin.
Pacing Cignal’s impressive start, Cayuna is getting inspiration from her teammates’ trust, especially their veteran spikers Rachel Anne Daquis and Ces Molina.
“Everyone from this team gives me trust and confidence, especially the veterans. They are my inspiration,” she said.