Cignal relies on Benilde trio anew to beat Foton, stay in hunt for Super Liga playoff berth
Cignal easily dispatched Foton in straight sets to keep hopes of joining the final round alive. Freddie Dionisio

CIGNAL blasted Foton, 25-20, 25-18, 25-18, behind another impressive performance from their trio of Benilde standouts at The Arena in San Juan on Thursday to stay in the hunt for a spot in the final round of the Philippine Super Liga Invitational Conference.

Lady Blazers stars Jeanette Panaga and Jannine Navarro led the way for the HD Spikers with 21 and 11 points, respectively, while CSB setter Djanel Cheng registered 26 of the team's 30 excellent sets.
 
Panaga scored on 12 spikes, four blocks, and five service aces, while Navarro anchored her attacks on nine hits.
 
"Sa first laban namin 'di pa nila makuha ang bonding kaya ginawa ko pinagsama-sama ko ang mga Benilde players kasi alam na nila ang set plays," said Cignal coach Sammy Acaylar.
 
The HD Spikers, who were coming off a masterful five-set win over Petron on Tuesday, are now on a two-game winning run, improving to 3-2. 
 
"It's great because we didn't expect na ganoon (mababa) ang laro ng players kasi hindi pa sila nagba-bonding," said Acaylar. "But start noong laban namin sa Petron, nakita ko na ang bonding nila, whatever happens gusto na nila manalo."
 
But to keep their hopes for the final round alive, Cignal will have to beat early finalist RC Cola Army when they tangle on Saturday. 
 
Aside from the Lady Troopers, the Tri-Activ Spikers have already secured a spot in the final round where they will face a Thai guest team Est Cola in a round robin format.
 
Angeli Araneta finished with 11 points for also-ran Foton (1-4). The Toplander's final assignment is against Petron on Saturday.

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