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Mercado, Gonzaga send Cignal to brink of Invitational crown

Mercado, Gonzaga send Cignal to brink of Invitational crown

The development of the rebuilding Cignal HD Spikers has been fast tracked

The Cignal HD Spikers clobbered a depleted Foton Tornadoes team, 25-20, 25-18, 25-22, in the penultimate Final Round game in the 2017 PSL Invitational Cup, Saturday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.

Cignal, who are now 2-1 in the round, are on the cusp of bagging the Invitational crown — only needing Petron to lose against the undefeated Kobe Shinwa University.

“Sa amin, maganda yung line-up namin at mabilis na-develop yung chemistry kaya na-achieve namin yung expectation sa amin. Yung bawat position kasi na maximize namin kaya madali yung adjustment namin,” said coach George Pascua, who is in his first conference as Cignal head coach.

It was a well-balanced attack for the HD Spikers, as veterans Cherry Vivas and Paneng Mercado did the damage together with Royse Tubino, Jovelyn Gonzaga, and Janine Marciano.

Vivas finished with nine points, while Mercado had eight markers for Cignal, who displayed their firepower after drawing a combined 19 points from Tubino, Gonzaga, and Marciano.

Cignal struggled to close out the final set, however, as a red card late in the set gave Foton life. However, an attack by Gonzaga landed square in the middle of two Foton defenders to seal the match.

“Malaking bagay sa amin ito kasi nakalaban namin yung Japan tapos nakalaban din yung top teams ng PSL. Tumaas yung morale namin dahil dito at handa na kami sa All-Filipino Conference,” Pascua added.

The HD Spikers utilized their entire line-up in the game, fielding all 14 of their players.

Grethcel Soltones paced Foton with 14 markers, 13 coming from attacks.

The Scores:

Cignal (3) – Vivas 9, Mercado 8, Gonzaga 7, Marciano 6, Tubino 6, Daquis 4, Morada 4, Paat 4, Delos Santos 3, Saet 3, Macatuno 1, Patilano 0, Cortel (L), Dionela (L)

Foton (0) – Soltones 14, Ortiz 8, Villegas 6, Yongco 5, Berte 4, Perez 3, De Leon 3, Barrinuevo 1, Sindayen 0, Reyes (L)