LUCENA CITY — Philips Gold edged Cignal, 21-25, 25-23, 25-9, 18-25, 20-18, on Saturday to reach the semifinals of the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.
Skipper Michele Gumabao led the Lady Slammers with 15 points, while Desiree Dadang added 13, Rossan Fajardo chipped in with 12 and Myla Pablo, who played despite an ailing right shoulder, contributed 10.
Philips Gold will face unbeaten Petron on Monday in the knockout semifinals.
“Masakit sa dibdib,” said Lady Slammers coach Francis Vicente several times after the two-hour 29-minute match.
Down by, 9-14, in the fifth and final set, Pablo saved the match point twice, first win a power hit, 10-14, and second with her cross court hit, 11-14.
“Tahimik na ako nagdadasal na lang ako sa sideline,” said Vicente.
Cignal’s momentum was snapped as the HD Spikers committed back-to-back errors and Gumabao tied the match with an off the block attack, 14-14, to force the first deuce.
Cherry May Vivas’ through the block hit reached Cignal’s sixth match point, 15-14, but Gumabao scored on a through the block attack and a service ace to push Philips Gold to its first match point, 16-15.
Mervic Mangui lifted the HD Spikers to their seventh match point, 18-17, but Philips Gold scored three consecutive points capped by a Dadang spike to end Cignal’s agony.
“Masaya ako na nanalo kami,” he added after he was able to catch a breath. “Ang goal kasi namin pumasok kami sa apat (semis).”
“Sabi ko kay Dadang kaya mo ‘yan kasi nagda-doubt siya eh,” he said. “Hindi ko pinasukan ng negative chinallenge ko ang bawat isa sabi ko kaya niyo, kaya niyo.”
“Wala akong pakialam sa nararamdaman mo andito na tayo labanan mo ‘yan, pag nilabanan mo mananalo tayo,” said Vicente referring to Pablo.
Philips Gold, which committed 30 errors, earned 11 points from Cignal’s 41 errors.
Mela Tunay scored 18 for Cignal, while Vivas and Mangui each had 13 markers and Lourdes Clemente added 11.