HD Spikers get it easy, Flying Titans bleed in creeping closer to semis | Inquirer Sports
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HD Spikers get it easy, Flying Titans bleed in creeping closer to semis

/ 05:18 AM November 04, 2022

HD Spikers get it easy, Flying Titans bleed in creeping closer to semis

The HD Spikers celebrate their latest triumph. —PVL PHOTO

The long-overdue challenge system machine of the Premier Volleyball League made its debut on Thursday, and Shaq delos Santos didn’t see a need to use it in a 25-23, 25-19, 25-19 Cignal victory over UAI-Army that took the Lady Troopers out of their Reinforced Conference miseries at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.

Cignal import Tai Bierria scattered 17 points in the win, just the second in four games for the HD Spikers, who shored up their chances of advancing to the playoffs while eliminating the winless Lady Troopers.

Rachel Anne Daquis and Ces Molina chipped in with 10 points each, and Delos Santos noted that the long, hard work will have to continue for his wards if they are to truly make a playoff push.

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“We’re thankful for another win. We got another opportunity to get back in the race. We have a good chance again but we have to keep working hard every practice,” said Delos Santos, who refused to enter the press room as he was in a rush to go to University of the Philippines practice.

“We have to stay committed and give our all because each game is tough. We can’t relax. I’m proud of my players because of their commitment.”

As things stand, Chery Tiggo clinched the first Final Four seat with a 5-0 slate, with powerhouse Creamline a cinch to nail the next with a 4-0 mark. They clash on Saturday in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, for what could be bragging rights heading into the playoffs.

The challenge machine, a setup built around 23 high-speed cameras, was put in full play after the league came out of its Halloween break, and coach Oliver Almadro made good use of it to dispute the final point of the first set, which his Choco Mucho crew won. But the Flying Titans couldn’t keep their sharpness and fell just the same, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 21-25, 15-12, to Akari as the Chargers kept their hopes of advancing past the eliminations alive.

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It was a dragging second game in several instances because of numerous challenges from both sides, but coaches made good use of the application of the rule.

Heavy-hitting Prisilla Rivera banged away a league-record 44 points but Akari needed solid performances also from Janine Marciano, Erika Raagas, Krich Macaslang and Geneveve Casugod as the Chargers snapped a three-game skid, including a five-set defeat to the first semifinalist Crossovers, to rise to 2-4.

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The Flying Titans, who fought doggedly hard to salvage the fourth set, fell to a 2-3 record.

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TAGS: Flying Titans, HD Spikers, PVL

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