Cignal made a shock move to start its battle against F2 Logistics in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Saturday.
The HD Spikers went All-Filipino in the first set, which proved to be effective as they cruised to a 25-21 opener against the Cargo Movers which has Lindsay Stalzer as their import.
That move, Tai Bierria starting the match off the bench, was later revealed as a brilliant strategy by Cignal's coaching staff led by Shaq Delos Santos.
"Actually, yesterday nga napag-usapan naming mga coaches and 'yung preparation din namin mas nakafocus din kami sa All-Filipino yesterday. Yesterday din hindi gaano maganda 'yung pakiramdam ni Tai kaya pinagrest namin siya," said Delos Santos after the HD Spikers defeated eliminated F2 Logistics, 25-21, 20-25, 25-14, 25-20, to boost their semis chances.
The veteran tactician was at peace knowing the fact that even without the American reinforcement on the floor, star setter Gel Cayuna will have many hungry hands to feed.
That Cayuna did with 17 excellent sets to go with four points, dishing out balls to Ces Molina (20 points) and Angeli Araneta (15 points).
"May import man o wala, malaki 'yung tiwala ko sa lahat ng spikers ko kaya nagpapaboost pa rin ng morale ko yun na All-Filipino kasi mas may experience din talaga ako na kami kami lang," shared the 5-foot-6 playmaker as Cignal improved to 4-3 in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
The HD Spikers look to catch the last trip to the semis on Tuesday against Choco Mucho at 2:30 pm at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
A win will give them the fourth and final ticket. Meanwhile, the Flying Titans can only overtake Cignal if they win by three or four sets. A five-set win will still give HD Spikers the remaining berth due to the points system.