HD Spikers weather Tornadoes in PSL Invitational opener
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 04, 2017 11:32 PM
Powerhouse teams Cignal and Petron score contrasting victories in their respective 2017 Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference matches.
A souped-up Cignal went through the wringer before escaping a tough Foton Tornadoes squad, 26-24, 20-25, 26-24, 13-25, 15-9, Saturday to join to other early winners in the opening day of the Belo-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Invitational Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Fresh recruits Jovelyn Gonzaga and Rachel Anne Daquis delivered an impressive performance while Mylene Paat made her presence felt for the HD Spikers, who essayed the win after more than two hours of action.
Gonzaga drilled all of her 17 points from kills while Paat and Daquis submitted 11 and 10 points, respectively, to tow Cignal to its first victory together with Generika-Ayala and Petron.
Cignal coach George Pascua was satisfied with the outcome despite the difficulty they went through.
"I told them that the first game is always the hardest," said Pascua, the genius who steered Petron to a historic sweep of the PSL All-Filipino Conference two years ago. "Sabi ko sa kanila, umpisahan natin ng maganda, tapusin din natin ng maganda."
Pascua added that the league's new rule that enforces the team to field its second unit hampered their bid in the second set.
"Kasi nga nung second set, ibang team yun,” he said. “So medyo nagkaproblema kami. Importante kasi ang jelling at chemistry sa loob.”
Dindin Mamabat displayed her impressive form, finishing with 16 kills, three aces and two blocks for game-high 21 points while Gretchel Soltones had 15 markers for Foton, which reigned supreme in the PSL Grand Prix last year.
Meanwhile, Generika-Ayala trounced Cocolife, 25-20, 25-15, 21-25, 25-16, while Petron drubbed Sta. Lucia, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21.
Skipper Geneveve Casugod led the Lifesavers with 20 points including 17 off attacks while new recruits Angeli Araneta and Patty Orendain, who both bolted out of Foton after last season, had 12 and 11 markers, respectively.
The Asset Managers played sans prized libero Denden Lazaro, who was still in vacation in Japan. Rosemarie Vargas and Michele Gumabao combined for 17 points for Cocolife.
Petron’s top acquisitions Mika Reyes and Carmela Tunay scattered nine markers each for the Blaze Spikers’ impressive start.
Lourdes Clemente got seven points to lead the Lady Realtors.