Cignal overcame a feisty Army-Black Mamba, 25-17, 21-25, 25-20, 25-20, to jumpstart its campaign in the 2022 PVL Invitational Conference on Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Ces Molina powered the HD Spikers with 20 points off 16 attacks and four blocks, on top of 14 excellent digs.
Rachel Anne Daquis and Roselyn Doria added 10 markers apiece as Cignal bucked the absence of Shaq delos Santos, who is on vacation in Dubai.
“Thankful din kami sa mga players na kahit wala si coach Shaq, gumalaw pa rin sila ng maayos tsaka naka-adjust din kami sa kulang sa service-receive,” said assistant coach Kirk Beliran.
Despite the HD Spikers imposing their presence at the net with 16 blocks, the win did not come easy for Cignal as it fended off a relentless Army-Black Mamba side that even took set two before hacking out victories in the last two sets.
Nene Bautista led the Lady Troopers with 14 points, while Jov Gonzaga had 13 markers in her indoor volleyball comeback.
Cignal’s failed Championship bid in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference is enough motivation for the squad to do better in the Invitational Conference.
Ces Molina in bounce-back conference…
“Syempre yung eagerness, yun talaga yung pinaka-motivation namin. Muntik na kami mag-Finals last time pero kinapos kami,” admitted Ces Molina.
The HD Spikers swept Pool A in the elimination, made quick work of BaliPure in the quarterfinals, and even led 1-0 against PetroGazz in the semis.
Cignal, unfortunately, succumbed in the next two matches before settling for the bronze medal after edging Choco Mucho in the battle for third.
Still, the third place ending left a bad taste on the HD Spikers’ mouth, one that Molina and co. are determined to correct in the midseason conference.
“Like other teams, nagte-training din naman talaga kami. Nung last league lang talaga, muntik na kami sa Finals,” she said.
“Yung difference na gusto namin ipakita this time is yung magkaron kami ng end game, na every game hangga’t kaya namin layuan yung score, lalayuan talaga namin para maging malinis ang tapos ng game namin.”
Molina sure did back her words up, pumping 20 points from 14 attacks and 4 blocks on top of 14 excellent digs in Cignal’s first match in the Invitational Conference as it turned back Army-Black Mamba in four sets.
To her, this is just the start of better things for the HD Spikers.
“Ang goal talaga namin is every game makuha namin and ma-improve din yung skills namin every game. Hindi lang laging kunin yung game kundi kailangan din nagi-improve rin kami every game,” she said.