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A group of volleyball players celebrating on the court.

Cignal turns back Choco Mucho to earn twice-to-beat advantage

The Cignal HD Spikers moved to within a win away from completing a sweep of their Group A games in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference as they took down the Choco Mucho Flying Titans, 20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-16, on Tuesday at the Paco Arena in Manila.

Keeping the momentum of their imposing second set romp that drew them level with the Flying Titans, the HD Spikers also took the next two and romped off with the crucial victory.

Cignal’s surprising performance so far is quite stirring indeed for a team which finished last with only a win to show in nine games in the league’s inaugural pro season in Ilocos Norte late last year.

The Shaq delos Santos-coached squad, which earlier upended two of the league’s most fancied teams, defending champion Chery Tiggo and multi-titled F2 Logistics, also in four-set fashions, seeks to complete its remarkable surge against Army at the close of the two-group, single-round elims tomorrow.

With a 3-0 mark, Cignal has secured a twice-to-beat edge in the knockout quarterfinals of the league organized by Sports Vision.

“We need proper recovery as we prepare against Army. We need to communicate more and be ready in anticipation of the tougher grind,” said delos Santos, who kept on drawing big games from his combo of aces, including Roselyn Doria, who produced a top-scoring 17-point performance in their one-hour, 43-minute victory.

“I’m proud of her (Doria). She’s always all-out in practice. Actually, she wasn’t satisfied with her performance in the first two games. She always knew she can do better. Hopefully, she continues to improve,” he added.

The veteran mentor also cited Ces Molina’s resolve as the latter came out of a brief rehab after sustaining an ankle injury the last time out to fire 14 points while seasoned Rachel Ann Daquis continued to provide the poise and leadership and finished with 10 points, the same output put in by Angeli Araneta.

“We’re thankful to the Lord for giving us this win,” said delos Santos, who also drew nine hits from Ria Meneses, six markers from ace setter Gel Cayuna and four points from Jerrili Malabanan.

Choco Mucho dropped to 2-1 in a tie with F2 Logistics.

Kat Tolentino pumped in 19 points, including 18 on attacks, while Aduke Ogunsanya backed her up with 10 points but the rest of the Flying Titans struggled after a hot first set outing with Ponggay Gaston and Bea de Leon finishing with five points apiece.

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