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HD Spikers shoot down Angels, boost semis chances

Games Saturday:
(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
2:30 p.m. — Creamline vs Army
5:30 p.m. — Petro Gazz vs Chery Tiggo

Cignal flirted with disaster before pulling through in a 25-22, 34-32, 15-25, 16-25, 15-13, squeaker over Petro Gazz to boost its bid for a semifinals seat in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday.

The HD Spikers’ locals delivered in the crucial stretch of the deciding frame to shock the Angels for their second straight win and a 3-2 win-loss card tied with their victim and idle F2 Logistics at No. 3 with just two Final Four seats up for grabs.

Skipper Rachel Anne Daquis, who subbed in for American import Tai Bierria midway through the fifth set, Ces Molina, Glaudine Trongcoso and Roselyn Doria stepped up when it mattered most to save Cignal after falling into an 8-11 hole in the deciding frame.

Trongcoso tied the set at 11 with back-to-back hits before Molina knotted it at 12 following a service error by HD Spikers setter Gel Cayuna.

Doria scored on a crosscourt kill following a successful ball in video challenge for a 13-13 deadlock before Daquis turned back Angels’ middle MJ Phillips’ quick attack to put Cignal at match point. Doria sealed the win with a service winner.

The HD Spikers saved eight set points after going down 20-24 in the second frame to steal the set and take a 2-0 match lead only to see Petro Gazz dominate them in the next two.

“I just told them to just bring back our normal game, the one that got us through in the first two sets. Good thing we’re able to get this tough win,” Cignal coach Shaq de los Santos said.

Bierria led the HD Spikers with 19 points with all but one coming off attacks and added seven excellent receptions while Molina finished with 13 points all off kills.

Riri Meneses added 11 points, Daquis had nine while Doria and Trongcoso scored seven and three points, respectively, for Cignal.

The HD Spikers went down, 20-24, in the second set following a kill block by Angels open hitter Myla Pablo on Angeli Araneta, who then saved to set points on back-to-back kills.

Cignal then scored three more points with Bierria pushing the squad at set point advantage. Petro Gazz answered with back-to-back attacks to retake the lead, 26-25, but the HD Spikers again saved four more set points before moving in front, 30-29.

The Angels tied the set three more times before Bierria scored on an off the block hit that bounced off the hands of Petro Gazz setter Djanel Cheng straight to the antenna.

Phillips then put too much power on her hit at the middle that sailed long as the Angels surrendered the frame that took 43 minutes to be decided.

American Linsey Vander Weide posted 29 points and 16 digs to pace Petro Gazz. Pablo got 17 points while setter Djanel Cheng tallied 11 points and 15 excellent sets.

Maizo-Pontillas had 19 points in four sets of action while Jonah Sabete chipped in 10.

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