MANILA, Philippines – Vanie Gandler stepped up when it mattered most to end Cignal’s two-match skid with a 25-18, 19-25, 25-21, 25-20 victory over Akari in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Philippine Conference on Tuesday at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan City.
Gandler led the HD Spikers’ collective effort as they scored 14 points, including the game-winning strike that ended the two-hour match and their misery, which extended to a 2-2 record.
“[My motivation is] my team. I know how hard we’ve worked and I know we can do it. We just had some trouble with it, but I see that everyone really finds a way to learn from all our mistakes,” said Gandler, who also had 14 digs.
“My team really helped me. Without them I wouldn’t have done this,” she added.
Gandler defeated her former Ateneo teammates Faith Nisperos, Jaja Maraguinot and Erika Raagas.
Invitational Conference Most Valuable Player Ces Molina also shined with 14 points, 16 digs and seven outstanding receptions. Jovelyn Gonzaga provided the spark off the bench with 11 points, while Ria Meneses dropped four blocks and finished with nine markers.
While Cignal continued to miss team captain Rachel Anne Daquis due to her coaching camp in the United States, Chinchin Basas contributed seven points, while setter Gel Cayuna dished out 21 excellent sets on top of three markers.
Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos was relieved that his wards finally got a win, ending Akari’s two-match winning streak ahead of their clash with winless Farm Fresh on Saturday at the Philsports Arena.
“We really had to make a lot of sacrifices for this match. Our team has worked harder to implement our adjustments,” Delos Santos said in Filipino. “But it’s a good thing we won this match, we are so grateful. I missed these kinds of performances. I am grateful to our team because we really worked hard to earn this.”
Akari fell to a 3-2 record despite Dindin Santiago-Manabat’s 21-point performance.
Raagas had 16 points and 11 outstanding receptions for the Chargers, while Nisperos was limited to just 10 markers.