CIGNAL stunned PLDT myDSL in five gruelling sets to arrange a title rematch against TMS Philippine Army for the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix championship.
Chinese reinforcements Li Zhangzhan and Lei Xie took charge for the HD Spikers with conference-high 27 and 15 points, respectively in the hard-earned 17-25, 25-22, 21-25, 27-25, 16-14 win over the Speed Boosters in Saturday’s semifinal encounter at the Ynares Sports Arena.
It was the first and only loss for the top seed PLDT myDSL for the entire tournament as Cignal pulled off the biggest upset in the history of the young tournament.
Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar credited his imports for the win and admitted needing to be in beast mode for his players to be in the game.
"Yung Chinese (imports) ko kasi nag-cooperate na sa amin unlike before na gusto nila 'yung play nila ang masusunod," he said.
"They want to win because yesterday (Friday) sobrang galit ko sa kanila kasi of course I want to win. Kaya ayan, God's will," he added.
Imposing her might, Maru Banaticla hit the ball hard at the right corner only to watch the ball land back right in front of her following the game-winning block by Maureen Penetrante-Ouaño.
Cignal and TMS Army battle for the crown next Saturday, with the HD Spikers looking to get even against Army after losing in the championship match during the inaugural tournament.
The HD Spikers struggled in the opening set giving away 11 points, including five consecutive miscues to trail, 20-12.
Cignal regrouped in the second, but again squandered the momentum in the third as the Speed Boosters regained control by scoring four consecutive points, 25-21.
Just as the Lady Speed Boosters were looking out to close the match after a 6-0 run to start the fourth courtesy of three Cignal errors, Michele Datuin stopped the bleeding by carrying the cudgels for Cignal, 12-14.
The HD Spikers then snatched the momentum and came with its own 4-0 spurt to take a 23-20 lead, before capitalizing on PLDT MyDSL's two consecutive errors to extend the match to a deciding set.