Ces Molina Cignal HD Spikers PVL

Ces Molina leads Cignal to a semifinals victory in the PVL Invitational Conference. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Ces Molina delivered 17 points as Cignal swept sister team PLDT, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21, to kick off its semifinal round on a high note in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) on Thursday at Philsports Arena.

Molina, who has been one of the top five scorers in the tournament, sustained her fine form, nailing 16 kills to give the HD Spikers an improved 1-1 record in the semifinal round-robin ahead of their Saturday match against the Creamline Cool Smashers on Saturday at 4 p.m.

After convincingly taking the first two sets, Molina broke a 20-20 tie in the third followed by a clutch block from Rose Doria and another kill from the latter for a 23-20 lead.

Doria had another block, denying Mika Reyes’ attack to reach match point, 24-20, but Molina committed an attack error. Cignal completed the straight-set win after Rhea Dimaculangan had a crucial net fault.

“This is a good opportunity for us because our wins continue to boost our confidence. We showed great team effort and didn’t let each other down,” said Molina in Filipino. “We will continue to work because we still have a lot of lapses as coach said. We need to polish it and double our efforts in practice for our next games.”

The HD Spikers earned their fourth straight win but carried their four-set loss to their fellow semifinalists F2 Logistics Cargo Movers from the pool phase

Ces Molina Cignal HD Spikers PVL

Ces Molina leads Cignal to a semifinals victory in the PVL Invitational Conference. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

Jovelyn Gonzaga was also instrumental with 12 points on top of 10 excellent receptions and six digs. Doria finished with 10 points including three blocks, while setter Gel Cayuna provided 15 excellent sets and scored four points off three aces.

Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos wasn’t convinced amid their straight-set win as he wants his wards to play better against Creamline and the two foreign teams, Japanese squad Kurashiki Ablaze and Vietnam’s Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh.

“The whole game we committed a lot of lapses. Good thing we were able to win it in three sets,” said Delos Santos in Filipino.

PLDT fell on the brink of missing the championship game after falling to a 0-2 record, including a straight-set loss to Creamline in the Pool Phase as only the top two teams with the best record will advance.

No one from the High Speed Hitters scored in double figures with Fiola Ceballos leading the way with eight points, while Royse Tubino, Mean Mendrez, and Mich Morente had seven markers each.

PLDT seeks to bounce back against F2 Logistics also on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.


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