HD Spikers end slump, crush reeling Oragons
Cignal arrested a two-game losing slump with a dominating win over Iriga City. (File photo)
(Filoil Flying V Centre)
4:15 p.m. –- Victoria Sports-UST vs SLR
7:00 p.m. -– Petron vs Foton
MALOLOS CITY -- Cignal banked on its rock-solid defense to dominate Iriga City, 26-24, 25-23, 25-17, to end a two-game slump in the 2017 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Saturday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center here.
Jovelyn Gonzaga provided the spark, but it was the imposing defensive presence of imports Beth Carey of Australia and Alexis Matthews of United States and Paneng Mercado that did the damage for the HD Spikers.
Gonzaga fired 15 kills while Carey and Matthews delivered 10 markers apiece as the HD Spikers controlled the blocking department, 8-1.
With the win, the HD Spikers shared the fourth spot with idle Generika-Ayala with a 2-3 win-loss card and stepped back on the winning track following a pair of setbacks to Petron and Cocolife, respectively.
“Ayun overwhelming (yung panalo) dahil galing din kami sa ilang talo,” said HD Spikers head coach George Pascua, who is still missing the services of veteran Rachel Anne Daquis who was nursing a bruised knee.
“Hopefully, masustain namin yung winning character ng mga players,” he added. “Kailangan maovercome namin ang pressure dahil nga champion team kami ng Invitationals.”
Despite losing Grethcel Soltones to a one-year suspension, the Lady Oragons came out firing early on.
Serbian import Tamara Kmezic waxed hot at the attack zone, towing the Lady Oragons to a 21-19 lead in the crucial stretch of the first set.
But Gonzaga delivered back-to-back hits followed by an attack error by the 6-foot-7 Serbian opposite that gave the first set victory and the momentum to the HD Spikers, much to the delight of a massive weekend crowd in this historic city.
Kmezic spewed fire offensively with 22 kills while Saama Miyagawa of Japan chipped in 12 kills and a pair of aces for 14 points for the Lady Oragons, who absorbed their third consecutive setback after opening their bid with an impressive win over Sta. Lucia Realty.