MANILA, Philippines — Vanie Gandler stepped up when it mattered most to end Cignal’s two-game skid with a 25-18, 19-25, 25-21, 25-20 victory over Akari in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Gandler led the collective effort of the HD Spikers as she nailed 14 points including the game-winning attack that ended the two-hour match and their woes to rise to a 2-2 record.
“[My motivation is] my team. I know how hard we’ve been working and I know that we can do it, we’ve just struggled a little bit, but I can see that everyone is really finding a way to learn from all our mistakes,” said Gandler, who also had 14 digs.
“My team really helped me. I wouldn’t have done this without them,” she added.
Gandler got the better of her former Ateneo teammates Faith Nisperos, Jaja Maraguinot, and Erika Raagas.
Invitational Conference Most Valuable Player Ces Molina also shone with 14 points, 16 digs, and seven excellent receptions. Jovelyn Gonzaga provided the spark from the bench with 11 points, while Ria Meneses dropped four blocks to finish with nine markers.
As Cignal continued to miss team captain Rachel Anne Daquis due to her coaching camp in the United States, Chinchin Basas contributed seven points, as 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 the two-game winning streak of Akari ahead of their duel with the winless Farm Fresh on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
“Before this game, we really went through a lot of sacrifices. Our team worked harder just to make our adjustments,” said Delos Santos in Filipino. “But good thing we won this game, we’re so grateful. I missed this kind of performance. I’m thankful to our team because we really worked hard to earn this.”
Akari dropped to a 3-2 record despite the 21-point effort of Dindin Santiago-Manabat.
Raagas had 16 points and 11 excellent receptions for the Chargers, while Nisperos was limited to just 10 markers.