Vintage Daquis saves Cignal from imploding
Facing a meltdown that would have ended its chances of making the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference playoffs, Cignal got the goods from the player that has always been identified to the team and survived to live another day.
Rachel Anne Daquis scored the HD Spikers’ final two points Thursday night and carried Cignal to a marathon 25-14, 25-11, 19-25, 17-25, 15-11 victory over crowd-darling Choco Mucho at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The HD Spikers rose to 2-4 and could advance with wins over PLDT High Speed Hitters on March 11 and the Army Lady Troopers on March 16.
And they couldn’t have gotten in that position if not for the 35-year-old Daquis, who scattered 17 points off 14 attacks in a performance that was reminiscent of her dogged style ever since bursting into a limelight more than a decade back.
“I missed this feeling (coming back hard to win), because this is the true identity of Cignal,” Daquis who also recorded 10 digs, said in Filipino, minutes after winning a joust with Deanna Wong that wrapped the match up after two hours and 11 minutes.
“We’ve always had the never give up mentality, the patience and trust in each other,” she went on. “We always pull each other up, and play for each other—from the coaches to the players. And we got the result that we wanted.”
Choco Mucho bounced back from losing the first two sets and looked ready to push it further in the fifth, only to run into a stumbling block with Ces Molina actually spearheading the Cignal attack.
Daquis then shoved the HD Spikers to match point with a brilliant down-the-line hit, before sealing her heroics over Wong.
Cignal ended a two-game skid and putting a glimmer of hope on its dimming semifinal chances.
“We knew that it will be a tough fight for us, because Choco Mucho is a strong team,” said coach Shaq delos Santos. “We know that they can fight back even if they are down.
“Good thing, our team moved well and survived with 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 Chai 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.
Kat Tolentino led the Flying Titans with 17 points like Isa Molde, who also had 11 receptions and nine digs.