Cignal survived Akari’s furious first set fightback, endured a back-and-forth duel in the next then took control of the third to fashion out a 25-23, 25-20, 25-14 victory and break an early spell in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday.
The HD Spikers showed great mental and physical stamina to deal with the Chargers in the last frame following mind-draining, energy-sapping battles in the first two sets, pulling away midway through on a series of attacks from all angles. But they wrapped up the hard-earned one-hour, 38-minute win on two Akari service miscues.
Rachel Anne Daquis came out smoking and fired 11 points in a rare top-scoring performance for the HD Spikers, who drew nine points from Roselyn Doria, eight markers from Ces Molina and a combined 20-point output from Riri Meneses, Chay Troncoso and Chin Basas.
Throughout their charge, Gel Cayuna provided the plays and hustle and finished with 21 excellent sets and four points to clinch the game’s top honors.
But more importantly, the victory should fire up the HD Spikers, who stumbled with back-to-back shutout losses to the Chery Tiggo Crossovers and the defending champion Creamline Cool Smashers to launch their campaign in the season-opening conference where they placed third last year.
“We have been prudent in training to achieve consistency and we always work hard until the end to reach our goal,” said Cayuna in the vernacular.
The HD Spikers hardly improved to eighth in the nine-team field but will now have the momentum when they face the Petro Gazz Angels (1-1) on Saturday at the Philsports Arena.