CIGNAL team captain Rachel Anne Daquis held her head up high as the HD Spikers finished first runner-up in the Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference.
F2 Logistics proved too much for Cignal, sweeping Game Two of the best-of-three finals series, 25-14, 25-16, 25-19, to win the crown on Tuesday at the MOA Arena.
The tournament's 1st Best Outside Hitter, however, would rather focus on her team's journey this conference and the many challenges they've hurdled collectively than dwell on their defeat.
That, to her, is reason enough to be grateful.
The fifth-seeded HD Spikers took their time to whip themselves up into shape, finishing the double round preliminaries with a 7-7 win-loss card.
In the quarterfinals, Cignal overcame Generika-Ayala in four sets to advance to the semifinals to face twice-to-beat Petron.
The HD Spikers then stunned the top-ranked Blaze Spikers, dethroning champions in five sets in both games.
“Great run for us kasi from fifth to second place, hirap na hirap kami kung paano namin tatalunin ‘yung Generika, hirap na hirap kami kung paano namin tatalunin ‘yung Petron but nandito kami, umakyat kami ng podium,” said Daquis.
“God’s plan and siguro perfect timing, perfect peaking tapos doon talaga nakita mong nahihinog na siya [team] so magandang experience ito na madadala namin sa mga susunod,” she added.
Cignal gave F2 Logistics a near heart attack in Game One.
Down 0-2, the HD Spikers fought back to drag the Cargo Movers to a fifth and deciding set only to fall short in the end, 22-25, 24-26, 25-18, 25-17, 15-8, on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Still, Daquis is staying positive.
“Siyempre kahit sinong team pinapangarap nilang mag-champion, siyempre ibibigay ni Lord ‘yun sa tamang panahon. Ibig sabihin hindi pa ngayon, kailangan pa namin pagtrabahuhan,” she said.
Daquis sees F2's success as the perfect blueprint for Cignal's winning future.
“Knowing F2 talagang lalaban at lalaban ‘yan, ibibigay nila ang best nila,” she said. “Sa amin naman, siguro, medyo kinapos talaga kami. Makikita mo pa rin ‘yung advantage ng team na laging nasa Finals and ‘yung team na matagal nang magkakasama.”
“So doon ko nakikita na patungo ‘yung team namin.Kinapos man kami ngayon, but hindi kami para magsa-stop, mas na-motivate kami na kasi kaya pala namin,” she continued.
The loss did not dampen Daquis’ spirit, instead it fueled her desire to be better.
“Unang wini-wish namin maka-akyat lang kami sa podium pero ito, ibinigay Niya sa amin ‘yung second and we’re really contented and happy pero kailangan namin magtrabaho para ma-achieve namin ‘yung totoo naming goal,” she said.
“True [walang dapat ikahiya], sabi nga nila, silver ‘yan. ‘Yung nakaka-proud na panglima ka, ‘di ba? Na ngayon naka-apak ka at nakakuha ka pa ng silver sobrang nakaka-proud ‘yung team.”