Cignal, PLDT try to keep PVL finals bid alive

Joey Villar - Philstar.com
Cignal, PLDT try to keep PVL finals bid alive
Vanessa Gandler
STAR / File

Games Monday
(PhilSports Arena)
4 p.m. -- Kurashiki Ablaze vs Cignal
6:30 p.m. -- PLDT vs Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh 

MANILA, Philippines -- Cignal and PLDT fight for dear life as they battle Japan’s Kurashiki Ablaze and Vietnam’s Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh, respectively, on Monday in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference at the PhilSports Arena.

Currently possessing identical 1-2 records, the HD Spikers face off the Japanese at 4 p.m., while the High Speed Hitters collide with the equally dangerous Vietnamese at 6:30 p.m.

The MVP-owned sister teams already got a glimpse of who they would be tackling after Saturday night’s showdown between the two foreign teams that resulted to the Kurashiki downing Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh, 23-25, 25-14, 25-20, 25-11.

It was a result that highlighted the Japanese’s ability to win it all and challenge fellow unbeaten team and defending titlist Creamline (3-0) for the crown.

Tamaru Asaka served notice of her true strength and unleashed a head-turning 29-point performance, while skipper Yano Yukino and Taniguchi Saya scattered 17 and 10 hits, respectively.

Also noticeable was the Japanese’s superb floor defense anchored on tenacious libero Takahashi Kaoru, who had 31 digs and eight receptions.

And expect Kurashiki to come in oozing with confidence while Cignal could still be licking its wounds after a heartbreaking 23-25, 25-16, 25-21, 24-26, 15-10 setback to Creamline Saturday.

In contrast, PLDT should be riding the crest of its 25-21, 25-19, 25-18 bashing of F2 Logistics that light up its flickering finals hope.

Honey Royse Tubino, an Army recruit, should again be the center of PLDT’s attack after uncorking a match-high 20 points the last time out.

For Cignal, it has to look for ways to find Ces Molina some help after the 28-year-old former national team mainstay dropped 28 hits that went for naught.

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