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    Army hopes to overpower Cignal in Super Liga final

    Jul 27, 2013
    The Army believes Cignal has limited firepower and that the Troopers only need to watch out for Venus Bernal (inset) and several of others. Dante Peralta

    THE Army believes is has enough weapons to overpower Cignal, which is embracing the underdog role in the Super Liga championship match on Sunday at the MOA Arena.

    The Lady Troopers escaped with a five-set win in the semifinals against Cagayan Valley and was pleased to see Cignal clinch the other finals berth after a win over Petron.

    Army and Cignal clash at 5 p.m.

    "Gusto ko Cignal," said Rico de Guzman, coach of the Lady Troopers.

    De Guzman explained that they preferred Cignal over the Blaze Spikers because they believe the HD Spikers have limited firepower.

    "Madali silang kalaban kasi iilan lang ang babantayan namin sa kanina," he explained. "Si (Venus) Bernal, si (Honey) Tubino at si Gendrauli 'yung mga iilan na 'yun."

    Philippine Army is also favored because it is a team of grizzled players who have been seeing action together for a while, which Cignal was assembled only before the Super Liga.

    Leaning on veterans Tina Salak, Jean Balse and Michelle Carolino, who delivered the goods in their, 25-22, 25-22, 25-27, 10-25, 15-13, victory against the Cagayan Valley, the Lady Troopers hope to come up with a more comfortable win this time.

    The Troopers also shrugged off suggestions the team featuring mostly veterans may have problems in longer matches. Angela Nunag and Jovely Gonzaga are the youngest Troopers at 21.

    "Sabi ko nga, age is just a number," said the veteran setter Salak, one of the leaders in the team.

    Cignal, meanwhile, scored a quick win to book a finals ticket, downing Petron, 25-20, 25-20, 25-23.

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    Army’s focus will be mostly on former UAAP Most Valuable Player Bernal, a member of the UAAP Season 69 champion squad from University of Santo Tomas.

    Tubino, who won back-to-back NCAA titles with Perpetual Help, and hard-hitting spiker Gendrauli, a three-time Cesafi champion with Southwestern University, are also again expected to chip in big numbers.

    "They are all from a champion team from different schools, all of them are champions," said Cignal mentor Sammy Acaylar. "They have the confidence and heart to win a championship here (in the Philippine Super Liga)."

    Despite being called as the underdogs in the title showdown, Acaylar is confident that they can pull off an upset just like as he was sure to win in three sets over the Blaze Spikers.

    "Yes, (the Cignal fans) can expect a championship," said Acaylar.

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    The Army believes Cignal has limited firepower and that the Troopers only need to watch out for Venus Bernal (inset) and several of others. Dante Peralta
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