Cignal strikes Sta Lucia in SuperLiga; Petron blitzes Foton, gains lead
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - February 24, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Slow-starting Cignal unleashed a strong finishing kick to prevail over Sta. Lucia, 23-25, 25-11, 25-16, 25-23, and roll to its second straight win in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix yesterday at Strike Gym in Bacoor.

The HD Spikers leaned on the solid performance of American import Erica Wilson (23 points) and the heads-up plays of Azerbaijani Anastasia Artemeva (17) and local star Mylene Paat (13) in coming back from a one-set deficit to pick up the victory that jacked up their record to 2-1.

“It was very important for us to get this win; I feel we’re the underdogs in this Grand Prix right now; we just came to show we can fight and we’re going to win games,” said Wilson, who once suited up for USA in the FIVB Women’s U-23 World Championship.

The Lady Realtors got the headstart against Cignal as they seized a 23-19 cushion in the opening frame and fended off a Wilson-led fightback. But the HD Spikers asserted themselves in the second and third, racing to comfortable leads, then wiped out a 9-15 deficit in the fourth with a 16-8 exchange to seal it.

“The key factor was even though we’re down in some moments, we stayed tight as a team and continued to fight; when one person was down, the other person was always there to show we have each other’s backs,” said Wilson.

In the second game, Grace Lazard sizzled with 32 markers built around 24 attacks, five blocks and three aces as PLDT Home Fibr broke into the win-loss column after a 0-2 start with a come-from-behind 24-26, 25-23, 19-25, 25-21, 15-8 edging of winless Generika Ayala (0-3).

In the third game, in-form holder Petron stormed to Win No. 3 at the expense of Foton, 21-19, 25-11, 25-12, to take the solo lead in the import-flavored conference behind Katherine Bell (18 attacks, two blocks and four aces) and Stephanie Niemer (11 hits, three aces).

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