By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
After sweeping the Chery Tiggo Pro Crossovers during their opening campaign of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference, the Cignal HD Spikers aren’t done and topped its previous performance with a stunning win over the defending champion squad Creamline Cool Smashers and inched one win closer to a grand finals berth.
In another doubleheader schedule of the import-laced conference, the HD Spikers took down the Cool Smashers, 23-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-18, last November 28, 2022 held at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Tai Bierria once again spearheaded the HD Spikers’ assault and scored a game-high 21 points built from 17 successful attacks alongside six excellent receptions, three blocks, and a service ace.
The American super import picked up where she left off against the Pro Crossovers and was just hitting from all cylinders against the Cool Smashers.
After hitting back-to-back crosscourt kills against the outstretched arms of Creamline’s middle blockers headed by Ced Domingo, Bierria smelled blood and continued her onslaught until the fourth and final set.
The veteran duo of Ria Meneses and Angeli Araneta backstopped Bierria and chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“Sobrang thankful. Nakaka-proud yung buong team from coaches to players kasi ayun nga. I think first time namin na manalo against Creamline sa semifinals. So malaking opportunity sa amin na maging better pa kami sa susunod na game namin,” said Cignal head coach Shaq delos Santos.
Gel Cayuna also continued her magnificent playmaking for the HD Spikers and distributed their efficient offense after tallying 16 excellent sets.
Meanwhile, despite a 20-point outing from superstar Alyssa Valdez, the Cool Smashers still fell short and failed to stop Bierria’s relentless attack.
Import Yeliz Basa contributed 17 points on 15 successful attacks while Jema Galanza only had 13 points for the Cool Smashers.
Cignal will look to punch their grand finals ticket if they beat the Petro Gazz Angels today while the Cool Smashers look to bounce back against the Pro Crossovers.