Cignal frustrates Creamline, nears PVL finals 

Tai Bierria of Cignal. (PVL)


Cignal needed just an extra set to pull off a 23-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-18 victory over Creamline in the round-robin semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference on Sunday, Nov. 27, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

American Tai Bierria led the way for the HD Spikers with 21 points built on 17 attacks, three blocks and one ace to clinch a 2-0 record in the semifinals and put them in a good spot heading into the finals. 

Cignal had to find another loophole on the Creamline side to stop its offensive might. 

Eventually, the HD Spikers’ blockings forced the Cool Smashers to commit 17 more errors than they did which helped get the job done. 

Despite erupting 61 attacks compared to the 49 of the HD Spikers, the Cool Smashers would only manage to inch closer within two in the fourth set off a Celine Domingo quick, 10-8. 

The two-point lead, however, would go on to balloon by as much as eight after a 10-4 run capped by Bierria’s off-the-block kill to end a long rally. 

Now at 24-16, the Cool Smashers were able to save two match points before Ria Meneses punctuated the set with a quick attack. 

“Healthy ‘yong naging transition din ng team from eliminations to ito semifinals. Mas naging better and sobrang happy kasi syempre kilala naman natin ‘yong Creamline. Mahirap silang talunin kung hindi mo sila paghahandaan, hindi ka magpapakundisyon. Grabe ang respect namin sa kanila. So sobrang thankful ‘yong buong team first time nakuha namin na manalo against Creamline sa semifinals. Malaking opportunity sa amin na maging better pa kami,” Cignal head coach Shaq delos Santos. 

Alyssa Valdez’ 20-point outing paced Creamline while Yeliz Basa added 17 in the losing effort. 

Jema Galanza and Jeanette Panaga also contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively, as the Cool Smashers absorbed a 1-1 record in the semifinals.