Cocolife shuts down Cignal in straight sets for the last semis berth
Cocolife earns a spot in the Final Four after knocking out Cignal in straight sets.
Cocolife shot down a crippled Cignal side in straight sets, 25-23, 25-23, 25-20, Thursday night in the knockout quarterfinals to advance in the Final Four of the 2017 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Asset Managers completed the semifinals cast and set up a do-or-die battle with top seed F2 Logistics on Saturday.
Cocolife pounced on the depleted HD Spikers, coming from behind in all of the sets to frustrate Cignal, which played without top hitters Jovelyn Gonzaga (right knee muscle strain) and Rachel Anne Daquis, who is still recovering from dengue and lost Jannine Marciano late in the third.
American import Shar Latai Manu-Olevao scored 21 points off 19 spikes and a pair of kill blocks to lead the Asset Managers while compatriot Taylor Milton added 14.
Veteran Nene Bautista and team captain Michel Gumabao combined for 12 markers for Cocolife, which advanced in its first semis appearance since joining the league early this year.
The Asset Managers survived a scare in the third set, coming back from a 19-14 deficit with a huge rally that tied the frame at 20 off a Gumabao kill block on Marciano, who went down with a left knee injury after an awkward landing.
The former San Beda College standout was stretchered off the court and was rushed to Cardinal Santos Medical Center. According to initial assessment by PSL resident physician Raul Alcantara, Marciano sustained a left knee ligament sprain.
With momentum on its side, Cocolife scored the next five points to close the match and boot out the ailing HD Spikers.
Honey Royse Tubino finished with 13 points, Marciano had 11 while American reinforcement Alexis Mathews and Australian Beth Carey combined for only 13 markers for Cignal.
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