HD Spikers book first Final Four ticket
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 10, 2019 06:37 PM
Cignal occupied the first semifinals seat after sweeping PLDT Home Fibr.
MALOLOS CITY -- Cignal hacked out a 25-22, 25-19, 25-20 win over PLDT Home Fibr to snatch the first semifinals berth of the Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference Thursday at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
With national team stalwart Mylene Paat at the helm, the HD Spikers made short work of the Power Hitters, winning in just one hour and 29 minutes to seize their fifth straight win and become the first team to advance to the next round of this prestigious women’s club tourney.
Paat delivered 18 points built on 14 kills, three blocks and an ace laced with eight digs while Rachel Anne Daquis and Janine Navarro delivered 13 markers apiece for the HD Spikers, who also ruled this short – but very competitive – conference two years ago.
Filipino-American playmaker Alohi Robins-Hardy was also impressive, finishing with 19 excellent sets with five points while libero Jheck Dionela was accounted for 13 digs and six excellent receptions.
Meanwhile, Foton breathed life to its flickering semis bid after beating Sta. Lucia Realty, 25-27, 25-15, 25-22, 25-11, behind Eya Laure's 19-point explosion.
Eya Laure had 16 attacks, two aces and a kill block for the Tornadoes, who tied their victims at 2-3 slate. Shaya Adorador got 15 points while Mina Aganon and Marian Buitre posted 12 and 11, markers, respectively, for Foton.
MJ Phillips and Pam Lastimosa finished with 16 and 13 points, respectively, in a lost cause for the Lady Realtors.
Cignal will shoot for an elimination round sweep when it battles Petron Saturday at the Caloocan Sports Complex.
“We can’t afford to relax, knowing that we are still unbeaten,” said Paat, who will play a crucial role when the Nationals compete in the 30th Southeast Asian Games this December.
“We need to learn how to avoid being complacent in the last stretch of this conference. We also have to be consistent every time.”
Far Eastern University standout Jerili Malabanan nailed 15 points while Shola Alvarez had 12 markers, 10 digs and nine receptions for the Power Hitters, who played without head coach Roger Gorayeb.
The legendary mentor remains at the hospital, leaving the coaching chores to Clint Malazo.
PLDT is now teetering on the brink of eliminations with a 1-3 record.