AFTER tapping a pair of hard-hitting imports, Cignal also recruited Filipino-American setter Shawna Santos and former Adamson skipper Myele Paat to beef up its roster in the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix that kicks off on October 8.
The HD Spikers are eyeing a major comeback in the import-laden tournament by bringing back Olympian Lynda Morales of Puerto Rico and first-timer Laura Schaudt of Oregon, USA after finishing sixth in the All-Filipino conference.
The 5-foot-8 Santos, whose mother hails from Bulacan, and Paat were the latest addition to a team that will be bannered by Venus Bernal and new faces Paneng Mercado and Janine Marciano.
"Hindi nagbibiro ang Cignal team para sa kampanya sa Grand Prix," said HD Spikers mentor Sammy Acaylar. "Ang goal namin ngayon is to make it to the top four kasi sa past na dalawang Grand Prix pasok kami sa semis, pero sa All Filipino nalaglag kami, kaya I told the management na kailangan tumapat kami sa iba na nag-ooffer."
"May magaling akong setter from Hawaii, si Mylene Paat already signed a contract, Paneng and Marciano they are with us na rin. Lalaban ang team ko," added the veteran mentor.
Completing the cast are mainstays Micmic Laborte, Jheck Dionela, and Cherry May Vivas, along with Len Cortel and Lourdes Patillano of Adamson and former University of Perpetual Help skipper and three-time NCAA champion Sandra delos Santos.
Cignal lost the services of College of St. Benilde standouts Jeanette Panaga and Ranya Musa due to conflict of schedule with the NCAA, while Mela Tunay has since shifted career as television host.
Still, Acaylar remained optimistic with his team.
"Maganda ang tingin ko sa team ngayon," he said. "Hindi kami magpapahuli, may mga nawala pero may mga dumating na bago. Sabi ko naman sa kanila (Panaga, Musa and Tunay) na included pa sila sa team, pero kung di na pwede, di ko rin naman sila pipigilan."