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Cignal moves on cusp of PVL finals with stunner vs top seed Creamline in semis

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Cignal inched closer to its first-ever finals appearance after outlasting top seed Creamline in four sets, 23-25, 25-23, 28-26, 25-18, in the single round semifinals of the 2022 PVL Reinforced Conference on Sunday. 

Cignal is now on top of the standings with an immaculate 2-0 slate while Creamline dropped to an even 1-1 card.

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After a first set hiccup, the HD Spikers got their act together in the next sets with import Tai Bierria delivering back-to-back attacks in the second frame that allowed Cignal to level the game at one set apiece. 

But the Cool Smashers, who closed out the elimination round at the top with a 7-1 slate, kept Cignal at bay for most of the third set with Alyssa Valdez knocking down two crucial service aces, 19-18. 

But then Cignal unleashed their relentless net defense with four of their six blocks in that set coming in the final stretch as Roselyn Doria, Rachel Anne Daquis, Angeli Araneta, and Bierria denied the Cool Smashers’ attacks for the set point, 25-24. 

Jia de Guzman, though, came up with a block of her own on Bierria, who then took advantage of the scrambling Creamline defense as Cignal won the extended third set, 28-26. 

It was all Cignal in the fourth, leading by as many as eight points with Ria Meneses nailing their last two points, 25-18. 

Bierria led the way for Cignal with 21 points on top of six excellent receptions while Meneses starred for the locals with 11 markers. Araneta chipped in 10 points while Doria chimed in with seven. 

Setter Gel Cayuna had an all-around outing with five points, seven digs, and 16 excellent sets.

—JMB, GMA Integrated News

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