By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Cignal survived the spirited challenge of Black Mamba Army and prevailed, 25-20, 20-25, 25-17, 25-19, to complete a 4-game sweep of Group A elims in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Thursday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The HD Spikers banked on new-found cohesion to beat the Troopers and formalize their claim on the No. 1 seeding in the quarters where they will enjoy a twice-to-beat advantage against the No. 4 seed from Group B.
Cignal’s win negated the 21-point explosion of Royse Tubino, who led the team’s onslaught in the second set.
Ria Meneses, Rachel Daquis, Ces Molina and Roselyn Doria scored in double figures that typified Cignal’s well-balanced attack.
Meneses and Daquis scored 15 and 13 points, while Molina and Doria added 12 and 10 points.
Gel Cayuna also shone with 41 excellent sets on top of three points.
Army finished the elims with a 0-4 mark, kissing its playoff bid goodbye.
Meantime, Choco Mucho bucked a slow start and turned back F2 Logistics, 21-25, 28-26, 25-20, 25-22, to gain the No. 2 seeding.
The Flying Titans expected got solid numbers from Kat Tolentino, Bea De Leon, Ponggay Gaston and Deanna Wong to finish the five-team group elims at 3-1.
The seeding arranged Choco Mucho a quarterfinals pairing with Group B third-placer PLDT with the Flying Titans needing only a win to barge into the crossover semifinals.
F2 Logistics, which ended up at No. 3 after finishing the group stage at 2-2, will face a twice-to-beat Petro Gazz side in the next phase.
Meanwhile, the organizing Sports Vision announced the quarters will start on Monday (March 28), back at the league’s home, The Arena, in San Juan City. Fans will be allowed to watch the games.