Cignal head coach Shaq de los Santos keeps a positive outlook over their title hopes despite getting pushed against the wall by a confident Petro Gazz side in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference best-of-three finals series.
De los Santos clings to the hope that the HD Spikers can still make a good ending to their first championship run since joining the league two years ago.
“I firmly believe that our team can do it, that we can write a good ending to our campaign,” De los Santos said.
The HD Spikers are now in survival mode after absorbing a 21-25, 25-27, 35-37, defeat in the opener of their titular series last Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Still, De los Santos reminds his team that the series is far from over.
“I told the team that we won’t stop until we get that win. That’s our goal. It’s not yet over,” he said.
Cignal has a couple of days to regroup and plot a plan to equalize in Game 2 on Tuesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The HD Spikers led by American import Tai Bierria, Ces Molina, Riri Meneses, Roselyn Doria and Rachel Anne Daquis are no strangers to adversity.
In fact, Cignal barely made it to the semifinals, needing a desperate push in the elimination round to advance to the next round.
Despite this, the HD Spikers were the first to advance to the finals with a good showing in their first two semis outings and snatching a crucial set win over Final Four tormentors, Angels.
“We’re happy that we’re in the finals. We won the bronze twice but now we’re here fighting for the crown. We don’t need to feel down because the point that we’re here means we have a chance to win the title. We should be happy and appreciate these blessings,” De los Santos said of his squad which won third place in the Open and Invitational conferences.
“We went through a lot to reach the finals. I’m just proud of this team.”
Cignal gave Petro Gazz a hard time in Game 1.
The HD Spikers could’ve taken the second and third sets if not for the breaks of the game that favored the Angels, especially in the last frame.
Cignal saved eight match points and even held four set point advantages in the extended set.