Cignal stops Choco Mucho’s 10-game streak to near PVL Finals
MANILA, Philippines — Cignal stole Game 1 of the semifinals as it snapped Choco Mucho’s 10-game win streak with a come-from-behind 18-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 15-10 victory in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference on Thursday.
Down two sets, the HD Spikers never wavered even when the Flying Titans regained their momentum in the fifth set as they moved closer to a first-ever All-Filipino finals appearance — second since last year’s Reinforced Conference.
Choco Mucho managed to regain the 10-9 lead in the decider, but Jovelyn Gonzaga and Ces Molina restored the order for an 11-10 breather. Ria Meneses, who was playing through cramps, nailed a clutch quick attack followed by Vanie Gandler’s ace and Isa Molde’s attack error to reach match point, 14-10.
Meneses completed Cignal’s comeback with the game-winning block on Kat Tolentino to end the two-hour and 25-match.
“I’m happy with her performance. She really showed her eagerness to win. She did everything her running spike and drop ball or what. I appreciate her effort as well as my senior players,” said Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos of Meneses, who scored four of her nine points in the fifth set.
Molina, the Invitational Most Valuable Player, powered the HD Spikers with 23 points built on 20 attacks, two blocks, and an ace to go with 19 digs and 16 excellent receptions. Gandler chipped in 17 points, while Gonzaga had 16 points.
Setter Gel Cayuna dished out 29 excellent sets and scored nine points including a game-high four aces.
Cignal tries to sweep the series in Game 2 on Saturday.
Choco Mucho’s 10-game winning streak was snapped with its fifth straight defeat in the semis dating back to the 2021 PVL Bacarra bubble, where it blew its Game 1 win to eventual champion Chery Tiggo, and last year’s Open Conference to Creamline.
Sisi Rondina led the Flying Titans with 19 points and 15 excellent receptions. Tolentino delivered 16 points from 12 attacks, two blocks, and two aces. Molde had 11 points and 11 digs, while Maddie Madayag and Cherry Nunag added 10 points each with Deanna Wong pacing her teammates with 25 excellent sets.
Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos, Jovelyn Gonzaga, and Ces Molina after stealing Game 1. #PVL2023
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Thursday, December 7, 2023