Cignal nips Systema in Super Liga opener
Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) - May 17, 2014 - 12:00am

Games Wednesday (Cuneta Astrodome)

2 p.m. – PLDT vs Petron (women)

4 p.m. – AirAsia vs Cignal (women)

6 p.m. – IEM vs Via Mare (men)

 

MANILA, Philippines - Cignal averted a potential meltdown and scrambled past a gritty Systema side, 25-14, 25-17, 17-25, 23-25, 15-13, yesterday at the start of the PLDT Home DSL Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.

Rookie Gilbert Ablan unloaded 28 hits, including a pair of kills in the decider as the HD Spikers recovered in time to hold off the Active Smashers, who rallied from two sets down to force a decider.

“I’m so proud of him, he worked hard for this game and practice,” said Cignal coach Michael Carino in Pilipino, referring to the 21-year-old power-spiking Ablan, who played college ball for San Beda in the NCAA.

Emilio Aguinaldo standout Howard Mojica and Perpetual Help hotshot and NCAA MVP Jay dela Cruz backed up Ablan with 16 and 13 hits, respectively.

Carino, however, stressed the need for his wards to toughen up on defense upfront to become a real contender.

“We need to improve our defense and blocking and we should learn to respect our opponents and not play lousy when we’re leading,” he said.

After sweeping the first two sets, the HD Spikers appeared to have slowed down, enabling the Active Smashers to strike back behind John Depante and AJ Pareja, who finished with 19 and 13 hits, respectively.
 

ABLAN ACTIVE SMASHERS CIGNAL CUNETA ASTRODOME EMILIO AGUINALDO GAMES WEDNESDAY HOWARD MOJICA AND PERPETUAL HELP JOHN DEPANTE MICHAEL CARINO PHILIPPINE SUPER LIGA ALL-FILIPINO CONFERENCE
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