FORMER UAAP MVP Venus Bernal powered Cignal to a 25-22, 25-17, 25-23 victory over crowd
favorite Petron in the opener of the Philippine Super Liga at the Philsports Arena on Sunday.
Back in top caliber competition for the first time in seven years, the former University of Santo Tomas star hardly showed rust and led the HD Spikers with 17 points, from 14 hits and three service aces.
"Masaya talaga kasi maganda ang welcome ng tao," said the 26-year old Cignal skipper. "Kahit matagal ka na 'di naglalaro kilala ka pa rin nila."
Bernal, who now works with Manila Water, took charge in the second set and came up with three straight points capped by a service ace to put up the biggest lead of the match, 21-12.
In the third set, other former UST Tigresses Maika Ortiz, Angge Tabaquero and Aiza Maizo starred ina 4-2 mini run to delay the HD Spikers' victory, 23-24.
But Perpetual Help alumna Arriane Argarin sealed the win for Cignal.
"It's amazing that the girls performed well kahit na we only had two days practice," said Cignal coach Sammy Alaycar. "Maybe because they're from champion teams that's why the heart was there."
Danika Gendrauli had 12 points for Cignal, while Honey Tubino added 11.
Maizo finished with 11 markers for the Blaze Spikers.