Angels eye PVL crown against Cignal HD girls in Game Two
PETRO GAZZ coach Rald Ricafort expects his wards to flash their killer instinct again as the Angels prepare for a big Cignal comeback in game two of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Finals at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City on Tuesday.
The Angels emerged better and stronger from a near-catastrophic slide on the final day of the semifinals, taking a tough 25-21, 27-25, 37-35 decision over the HD Spikers last Thursday to pull one win away from sweeping. the way back to the throne of the imported conference in the league organized by Sports Vision.
Game time is 5:30pm with the Angels eager to complete the HD Spikers behind their big-hitting import Lindsey Vander Weide and a fired-up local crew led by Myla Pablo, MJ Phillips, Aiza Pontillas, Remy Palma and ace playmaker Djanel Cheng.
“Our lesson from Game 1 is we let the third set slip away,” Ricafort said. “Satisfaction seems to set in when we win two sets.”
He was referring to the department’s third-set meltdown, also against the HD Spikers, in the final Final Four duel last week that saw them sweep the first two sets and move one match away from returning to the finals after storming to 24-21 lead in the third frame.
But Cignal import Tai Bierria would her team back into the match with a cluster of hits, and the HD Spikers forced a fourth set before finally clinching the match.
But Cignal went on to win the first final with a better tiebreak score than Petro Gazz, who however got a free ride to the title play-off after Chery Tiggo spoiled Creamline’s bid in the second semi-duel.
The Angels also took the first two sets in Game One, but this time they rallied in a nerve-wracking third set as they relied on Vander Weide’s ferocity to pull out the win.
And Ricafort demands nothing less than a stronger performance from the Angels in today’s clash and avoid going through a winner-take-all game where momentum could shift to the other side.
Still, the HD Spikers know they have the stuff to stop the Angels, especially after dragging the 2019 champions to three close sets in their first attempt at a PVL championship.
But they must come up with an antidote to Vander Weide or at least slow her down while trying to start strong in what promises to be another lively clash of power, blocks, digs and smarts.
Bierria has thrived coming off the bench and finishing strong, but this time the HD Spikers, led by local aces Ces Molina, Roselyn Doria, Chay Troncoso, Angeli Araneta, Rachel Anne Daquis and Riri Meneses, could start her in an effort to build a kind of drive that would keep the Angels on the defensive and keep them in the gold medal hunt.
Creamline is also going for the bronze against Chery Tiggo at 14:30
Games are broadcast on One Sports, One Sports+, Cignal Play and Smart Gigaplay with the hashtag #TheHeartofVolleyball.