In spite of missing Gel Cayuna, Cignal still managed to make quick work of the skidding Chery Tiggo, 25-23, 25-16, 25-18 in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference, Saturday night.
Ces Molina once again starred for the HD Spikers, who inched closer into the next round after improving its slate to 3-0, with 16 points off 13 attacks, two aces, and a block against the Crossovers.
Ayel Estrañero, who filled in for Cayuna, who, according to Delos Santos is currently taking a rest, dished out 12 assists to go along with two points while Angeli Araneta delivered 10 points in the victory.
“Thankful sa team, nakaka-proud kasi naka-laro rin lahat. Meron kaming na-encounter na struggle pero buti naka-recover kami and doing good naman and hopefully maging better pa especially pagdating sa dulo,” said Cignal head coach Shaq delos Santos.
Ayel Estrañero provided Cignal with a huge boost on Saturday night.
Playing without starting setter Gel Cayuna, Estrañero embraced the spotlight and produced 12 excellent sets to lead the HD Spikers to a 25-23, 25-16, 25-18 sweep of Chery Tiggo in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The 25-year-old UP product expressed her gratitude to both her teammates and coaches for trusting her and allowing her to take the lead in the match where they earned their third consecutive win of the tourney.
“Yung simpleng tapik nila, yung simpleng instructions ni coach [Shaq delos Santos] malaking bagay,” said Estrañero.
“Very grateful kay Lord kasi hindi naman namin maa-achieve ‘to without His guidance and syempre sa trust din ng coaches and teammates and sa tulong din nila. Yung lakas ko talaga saka yung confidence ko nanggagaling din sa tiwala nila sa akin,” she added.
Estrañero said that she just relished the chance to play alongside her veteran teammates that, according to her, gave her the much-needed confidence in her first start since the 2021 Open Conference in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.
Moreover, if ever Cayuna will not be available on Thursday, the former Motolite playmaker said that she is more than ready to step up again.
“Siyempre privilege yun kasi hindi naman lahat gets the chance para maging teammate sila and iba rin kasi ang nagbibigay nila na… alam ko kapag nag-set ako kahit magkamali ako gagawin nila yung best nila. Syempre veterans na rin sila, iba rin talaga yung meron kang mga ate sa loob ng court,” said Estrañero.
“Yung sinabi ni coach mas nagfo-focus kami doon sa process namin, we’re not looking ahead into the game sa Thursday kasi syempre babalik pa kami sa training, aayusin pa namin yung mga dapat naming ayusin so yung goal talaga namin is to really just keep on improving as a team, yung chemistry namin, yung performance namin every game. Ayun, nandoon yung goal pero mas mag focus kami sa process.”
Cignal raced to a 23-14 advantage in the third set before an attack error from Shaya Adorador put the HD Spikers at match point.
Maika Ortiz and Adorador powered a 4-0 spurt for the Crossovers but Kla Abriam put an end to the match by swiping the ball off Chery Tiggo’s blockers.
Cignal, who took the early lead in the standings, overcame a 16-21 advantage in the opening set before dominating the second frame to get a 2-0 advantage over Chery Tiggo.
On the other hand, Mylene Paat led the Crossovers with 10 points and 12 excellent receptions while Adorador added nine markers in the team’s third consecutive loss, which dropped them to last place.
EJ Laure, who missed the team’s first two games after being placed in the league’s health and safety protocols, had seven in her return.
Cignal will face fellow undefeated Creamline on Thursday, 5:30 PM at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex while Chery Tiggo will try to bounce back against Petro Gazz at 2:30 PM at the same venue.