STA. ROSA, LAGUNA – Cignal overcame a slow start to give Akari a harsh welcome, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-16 in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex on Saturday, Oct. 8.
American import Tai Bierria top scored with 20 points on 17 attacks, two kill blocks, and an ace to go along with nine excellent digs for an HD Spikers side that missed the services of Ria Meneses and Jerrili Malabanan.
Malabanan was in street clothes while Meneses is still recovering from knee issues which also bothered her in the previous conference. On the other hand, Ces Molina only played the first two sets of the match as she is still recovering from a right ankle sprain.
“Of course I’m so happy sa performance niya,” Cignal head coach Shaq Delos Santos said when asked about Bierria’s PVL debut. “Sabi ko nga sa kanya marami pa kaming kailangan i-improve, marami pa kaming kailangan trabahuhin. Malayo pa, malayo pa yung performance ng team namin talagang kailangan pumukpok pa kami and trabahuhin pa namin talaga ng 101 percent.”
“Very thankful especially kay Lord. First win and not too good of a game for us but syempre mas magpe-prepare pa kami. Marami kaming natutunan so maghahanda pa kami sa next game namin.”
Ahead by just two points in the fourth, 15-13, Bierria, Chai Troncoso, and Angeli Araneta connived in a 6-1 run that gave them a seven-point, 21-14 advantage.
Chargers reinforcement Prisilla Rivera and Araneta then traded hits before Akari’s errors doomed them at the end. Akari ended the game with three attack faults.
Rose Doria added 13 points which included four blocks while Troncoso chipped in 12 points in just two sets played.
Gel Cayuna dished 23 excellent sets while also scoring four aces to finish with five points.
On the other hand, Rivera led the young Akari with 20 points on 17 attacks, two aces, and a block while rookie Erika Raagas had 16 points.