‘Stable’ Jovelyn Gonzaga takes lead in Cignal PVL playoff push
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‘Stable’ Jovelyn Gonzaga takes lead in Cignal PVL playoff push

Cignal HD Spikers' Jovelyn Gonzaga in the PVL All-Filipino Conference.

Cignal HD Spikers’ Jovelyn Gonzaga in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. –PVL PHOTO

Cignal made its dream of a Premier Volleyball League (PVL) title known right from the beginning of the All-Filipino Conference. And that hangs in the balance with a steep trek facing the HD Spikers just to advance to the semifinals.

The HD Spikers’ gut-wrenching five-set loss to Creamline before the Holy Week break put them into this hole, and a reliable figure has welcomed the leadership role in this final push to make it out of the eliminations.

“I think that I have to find a solution how I can help lighten the workload of the team in my own way,” the seasoned Jovelyn Gonzaga told the Inquirer in Filipino after a bounce-back triumph against Farm Fresh, 25-10, 25-14, 25-15, on Thursday at PhilSports Arena.

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READ: PVL: Cignal enters tough, crucial phase in chase of semis berth

It was the first of at least four wins Cignal needs just for a shot at the last Final Four slot. A sweep of their last five games starting with the match against Farm Fresh could give them automatic passage.Before the Lenten break, Cignal looked like it was about to become the second team to deal the Cool Smashers a loss, only for Creamline to bounce back.

That bitter defeat dropped Cignal to the middle of the pack, and even after sweeping the Foxies, the HD Spikers are locked in a three-way logjam with Petro Gazz and Chery Tiggo at 5-2 (win-loss) record for the fourth spot.

“I really cried hard that night, because [that loss] was big for us,” Gonzaga said. “Had we won that game, we could have been in a much better position in the standings—that’s how big of an impact that loss was on us.”

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And it will only get tougher for Cignal, which still has to go through the Crossovers, the Angels and the PLDT High Speed Hitters, sides also working for a coveted Final Four seat.

Acknowledging the lack of communication that led to the downfall of her squad, Gonzaga, who top scored for Cignal against Creamline (22 points) and Farm Fresh (17 points), will strive to be a stable voice on the floor in their remaining games.

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“I need to be in peak condition—physically, mentally, emotionally—that’s why I always shout on the court ‘stable’ because that’s what I need to be,” she said. “I can’t get too excited nor emotional because I notice that my movements become erratic when that happens.

“As much as possible, I need to be stable. That way I can contribute to the team and give my message and instructions.”And she knows that there cannot be any gaps in the HD Spikers’ game moving forward if Cignal wants to end its string of bronze medal finishes.

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TAGS: Cignal, Jov Gonzaga, PVL

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