PVL: Rachel Anne Daquis carries Cignal past Choco Mucho in five-setter
MANILA, Philippines — Cignal avoided a meltdown as Rachel Anne Daquis helped her team get its act together in the fifth set to withstand Choco Mucho, 25-14, 25-11, 19-25, 17-25, 15-11, and stay in semifinals hunt in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino on Thursday at Philsports Arena.
The HD Spikers dominated the first two sets but they lost steam, allowing the Flying Titans, led by the trio of Kat Tolentino, Isa Molde, and Des Cheng, to equalize the match and force a decider.
But Cignal unleashed a 10-6 start in the fifth set off Ces Molina’s attack and pulled away with a 13-9 advantage after Rose Doria and Chai Troncoso scored two consecutive points. But Choco Mucho trimmed the lead with Molde scoring through the block and Cherry Nunag nailing a quick attack.
Daquis stopped the bleeding and pushed her team with a down-the-line attack to reach matchpoint, 14-11 before scoring the game-winning joust over Deanna Wong to prevail in the a two-hour and 11-minute match.
The 35-year-old spiker finished with 17 points off 14 attacks and three blocks to go with 10 digs.
Cignal improved to a 2-4 record, ending a two-game skid and putting a glimmer of hope on its dimming semifinal chances.
“We know that it will be a tough fight for us. Because knowing Choco Mucho is a strong team. We know that they can fight back even they are down,” said Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos in Filipino. “Good thing, our team moved well and survive the game by maintaining their good attitude inside the court. I’m happy and proud of this team.”
Molina also finished with 17 points and 16 receptions, while Rose Doria scored four of her 15 points in the fifth as she finished with eight attacks, four aces, and three blocks.
Setter Gel Cayuna paced the HD Spikers with 18 excellent sets on top of four points, as Troncoso and Ria Meneses added 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Choco Mucho dropped to a 2-3 record, missing star libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla, who was in uniform but sat out as she was feeling under the weather.
Tolentino led the Flying Titans with 17 points. Molde also scored 17 points on top of 11 receptions and nine digs, managing to come back after an injury scare in the first set, hurting her knee colliding with libero Thang Ponce.
Cheng waxed hot in the fourth, scoring nine of her 14 points in the fourth set to extend the match. She also nailed a game-high five aces in a losing cause.
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