HD Spikers prevail over Lifesavers for first win
Jovelyn Gonzaga of Cignal attacks the defense of Generika-Ayala's Darlene Ramdin and Gen Casugod.
(Filoil Flying V Centre)
3:00 p.m. –- meet-and-greet with US national team coach Karch Kiraly
4:00 p.m. –- opening ceremony
4:30 p.m. –- Cocolife vs Foton
6:30 p.m. –- Petron vs Cignal HD
Cignal bounced back from an opening day loss after surviving a furious battle with a gritty Generika-Ayala side, 25-16, 25-21, 25-27, 25-21 Thursday night in the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The HD Spikers staved off the Lifesavers’ fourth set rally that saw their eight-point lead cut to just one in the closing stretch of the match before sparking a final push capped by veteran Jovelyn Gonzaga's heady drop to Generika-Ayala’s undefended backrow.
American reinforcement Alexis Matthews smashed 14 hits and five kill blocks in her 19-point performance for Cignal, which dropped a four-set decision over Foton last Saturday.
Gonzaga added 17 points while Australian import Beth Carey had six for the HD Spikers, who will face bitter rival Petron on Saturday. Chie Saet tallied 30 excellent sets while libero Jheck Dionela had 18 excellent receptions and 10 digs for Cignal.
The HD Spikers built an 18-10 lead in the fourth frame only to see Croatian Katarina Pilepic and Darlene Ramdin of Trinidad and Tobago spark the Lifesavers’ rally to cut their deficit to 22-21.
Rachel Anne Daquis answered with a hit to create more separation for Cignal. Carey blocked Ramdin on the next play before Gonzaga’s match-clinching tip.
Pilepic finished with 25 points off 24 kills while Ramdin got 23 anchored on 18 attacks, four kill blocks and a service ace for Generika-Ayala, which failed to capitalize on its five-set win over Cocolife last Tuesday to fall to 1-2 slate.
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