Cignal eyes third win in PVL Invitational Conference

·2 min read

THE league-leading Cignal HD Spikers aim for a third straight win when they tangle with the winless Chery Tiggo Crossovers in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

The HD Spikers will have their work cut out for them as they are coming off a tough five-set win over the Choco Mucho Flying Titans on Wednesday. They dropped the first two sets but swept the last three – all in hard-fought fashions – for a 24-26, 19-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-11 decision that came after their four-set triumph over Army, giving them early control of the seven-team field.

But coach Shaq delos Santos believes his wards have plenty of gas left in the tank and facing a depleted squad may even give him the chance to rest his starters in preparation for what could be their toughest test: a clash with the Creamline Cool Smashers next week.

But the Crossovers are likely to come into the match a lot tougher with the likes of EJ Laure, Buding Duremdes, Alina Bicar and Justine Dorog expected to return following health and safety protocols although top hitter and leader Dindin Manabat, who suffered an ankle injury in a tune-up match, remains a day-to-day case.

Still, with the way Rachel Anne Daquis, Ces Molina, Roselyn Doria and Rachel Anne Daquis, Ria Meneses, Claudine Troncoso, libero Fatima General and the rest have been playing with competitive fire, the Crossovers will need more anchors to prick the growing Cignal bubble in the mid-season conference.

Focus will also be on the 2:30 p.m. match between the Cool Smashers and the PLDT Power Hitters.

Creamline, behind its star-studded roster, launched its drive for back-to-back championships with a 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20 victory over Petro Gazz last Tuesday while the Power Hitters dominated the Crossovers, 25-18, 25-19, 25-14, to serve notice of their title drive.

But the Open Conference champions appear to have the edge with the return of Michelle Gumabao adding more depth to an already talented crew made up of Alyssa Valdez, Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza, Risa Sato and Jia de Guzman, Celine Domingo and Kyle Atienza.

The Power Hitters, however, remain unfazed by their rivals’ credentials, confident of putting up a stronger campaign after finishing fifth in the first conference on a team which underwent deep training during the break and built around the fired-up lead crew composed of Mika Reyes, Chin Chin Basas, Julianne Samonte, Fiola Ceballos, Dell Palomata, Rhea Dimaculangan and Kathleen Arado.

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