Winning solves problem, Daquis says after Cignal ends slump
It seems so distant now, how Cignal once went on a dominating run in the Premier Volleyball League. Two straight losses in the ongoing All-Filipino Conference can cause people to forget.
But the HD Spikers are hoping to refresh everyone’s memories, one game at a time.
With Gel Cayuna leading the way, the HD Spikers eased past Akari, 25-23, 25-20, 25-14, on Tuesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum to register their first win in the tournament that had their coach brimming with optimism.
“For me, this is part of the process,” said Cignal coach Shaq delos Santos. “… [J]ust because we had a good finish last year, that doesn’t mean we’ll have that same level right away. We have to adjust a lot, we have a lot to correct.”
The team, however, will need to do more to prove they have recaptured the form that made them runners-up in the 2022 Reinforced Conference after logging their first win against a young Chargers squad still looking for a first win in this tournament.
“The solution to our problem is really to win. Maybe for us, we don’t have a ‘microwave’ mentality where everything is instant. There is no ‘instant.’ Everything should be worked hard for,” said team captain Rachel Anne Daquis, whose 11 points led Cignal and helped unplug Akari’s bid in one hour and 38 minutes.
“We’re okay in our training, it’s just in our mindset on how we move on the court,” Daquis added. “This win has such a huge impact on our team, this gives us high morale. The team is happy and everyone’s enjoying themselves.”
Cayuna’s astute playmaking resulted in 21 excellent sets that allowed the likes of Roselyn Doria and Ces Molina to thrive amid the scoring resurgence of Daquis.
“We trained hard to achieve consistency and we always work hard until the end to reach our goal,” said Cayuna.
After a tense first two sets where Cignal weathered fightbacks and seesaw exchanges, the HD Spikers put their foot down in the third to finally break into the win column.
“Hopefully, this is the sign that we can [make a run],” delos Santos said. “We trained every day before this game and we saw the progression and confidence of the players.”
That progression will be tested again on Feb. 18 when Cignal faces Petro Gazz, the team that creamed the HD Spikers for the Reinforced crown. Dindin Manabat, the veteran superstar who signed with Akari in an effort to shore up the squad’s leadership and scoring, finished with 11 points to lead the Chargers, who have now lost three straight matches.
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