PVL: Cignal’s slow start this conference ‘part of process,’ says coach Shaq
MANILA, Philippines–It took Cignal three tries but it finally notched its first win in the Premiere Volleyball League’s All-Filipino Conference at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday.
Viewed as a potential powerhouse in the ongoing tournament, the HD Spikers dropped their first two games which came as a shock to the league.
Still, coach Shaq Delos Santos is unfazed by the team’s slow start, saying they are still a work in progress despite last year’s colorful run.
“For me, this is part of the process. Like I said, just because we had a good finish last year doesn’t we’ll have that same level right away. Because last year, we were testing everyone. Just because we reached the Finals doesn’t mean we’re okay. We have to adjust a lot, we have a lot to correct,” said Delos Santos after Cignal’s 25-23, 25-20, 25-14, sweep of Akari.
“We’re still in the adjustments of the system, we’re still in the process of figuring out everything we need to do. It’s not easy,” he added.
The HD Spikers finished as runners-up in the PVL’s previous Reinforced Conference as they were swept in the Finals by Petro Gazz in two games.
But the lion’s share of help from that run was from import Tai Bierria. Now, with an all-Filipino lineup, Delos Santos emphasized that they still have the tools needed for another long run.
“We’re filled with skills. We have experience but we need to bring back what we have and also to enjoy what we do. We’re really happy that we got a good win but we really need to work more. We need to be more inspired in everything that we do and we shouldn’t be scared of whatever the results may be,” Delos Santos said in Filipino.
Star spiker Rachel Anne Daquis doubled down on her head tactician’s statement, finding more positives in the early slump of last conference’s powerhouse.
“The good thing about what’s going on with us is, we were challenged early, which means we resolve the problems we have early on. We’re happy with the result and we’ll continue with our mentality now,” she said.
WATCH: Rachel Anne Daquis and coach Shaq Delos Santos after Cignal’s sweep against Akari. | via Rommel Bong Fuertes Jr./Inquirer Sports
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Daquis, the team’s captain, powered Cignal’s convincing win against the Chargers with 11 points built on eight spikes and three blocks.
Rose Doria also helped the HD Spikers get their first victory with nine points, including a momentous crosscourt kill in the third and final set that put her team up huge, 16-9.
Daquis also said that Cignal is moving on from the sluggish start to the tourney, emphasizing that it’s up to players, to follow their top coach’s directives to get more much-needed wins.
“Like coach always says, we’re okay, it’s just in our mindset on how to move around the court.”
The 1-2 dealt squad will look to build on their “morale-boosting” win when they face their Reinforced Conference rival Petro Gazz (1-1) at Philsports Arena on Saturday.