CIGNAL didn’t waste its twice-to-beat advantage as it booted out United Volleyball Club with a 25-22, 18-25, 25-21, 25-20 victory on Tuesday to book a semifinals ticket in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Arena in San Juan City.
The HD Spikers banked on imports Erica Wilson and Ana Artemeva with a strong support from locals Mylene Paat and Rachel Anne Daquis, who nailed the finishing touches in the fourth set, to survive the tough battle of UVC.
Cignal forge a best-of-three semifinals series with unbeaten leader Petron, which swept the 14-game preliminary round and knocked out Sta. Lucia last Saturday.
Wilson powered Cignal with 25 points on 21 spikes, a pair of service aces and as many as blocks, while Artemeva scattered 13 attacks and five blocks for 18 points.
Paat chipped in nine points and blocked UVC’s new Thai import Sutadta Chuewulim to reach match point, 24-20, while Daquis nailed the game-winning spike to reach the semifinals and finished with six points and 11 excellent receptions.
“Pinag-usapan namin na ilabas lang nila 'yung tapang nila,” said Cignal coach Edgar Barroga. “Pinush lang namin sila. Iba lang talaga ang takbo ng utak nila ngayon. Lumaban talaga sila para sa team hindi sa sarili nila.”
Kalei Mau and import Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani lifted UVC with 20 points each, while Chuewulim, who replaced Tai Manu-Olevao, put up 14 points in her first and last game in the PSL as her team bombed out of contention.