Vanie Gandler to play for Cignal in PVL
MANILA, Philippines—Vanie Gandler is taking her talent to Cignal when she makes her professional debut in the Premier Volleyball League.
The HD Spikers on Thursday announced that the graduating Ateneo outside hitter has chosen their team as her next destination after four seasons in the UAAP.
“As I enter a new phase of my life after college, I’m more than excited to join a volleyball team such as the Cignal HD Spikers,” said Gandler in a statement. “The players, coaching staff, and management more than welcomed me into the fold and I’m looking forward to performing to the best of my abilities to help bring Team Awesome to a higher level.”
“Here’s to starting new beginnings and getting out of my comfort zone,” she added.
In her final season, Gandler scored a total of 154 points built on 134 spikes, 12 aces, and eight blocks only for Ateneo to miss the Final Four for the first time since 2009 after it finished with a 4-10 record.
The incoming PVL rookie will beef up the wing spiker rotation of Cignal as she teams up with Rachel Anne Daquis, Ces Molina, Jerrili Malabanan, Graze Bombita, Toni Basas, and national team member Chai Troncoso.
Cignal, which made its first PVL Finals in the Reinforced Conference last December but settled for silver after losing to Petro Gazz, is seeking to bounce back in the Invitationals after missing the podium for the first time in three tournaments in the 2023 All-Filipino Conference, where it finished with a 3-5 record.
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Gandler was a rookie when the Blue Eagles, led by the troika of Kat Tolentino, Maddie Madayag, and Bea De Leon, captured the Season 81 crown in 2019, beating the Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure-led University of Santo Tomas.
Her sophomore season in 2020 was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic before she led Ateneo to a bronze finish in Season 84 last year, overcoming a 0-3 start and eliminating Adamson and third seed UST in the playoff for No.4 and stepladder semifinals, respectively.
Faith Nisperos, who only played her second full season with Ateneo this year, also decided to turn pro after signing with the Akari Chargers last week.
It won’t be the first time for Gandler to play in the PVL as she made her Ateneo debut in the 2018 Open Conference when the league was still semi-pro. The Blue Eagles reached the Finals but lost to Creamline.