Preview: Variety is the key to the Cignal HD Spikers’ success

2018 Season Finish
PSL Grand Prix: 6th Place
PSL Invitationals: 3rd Place
PSL All-Filipino Cup: 4th Place

Key Losses: Royse Tubino, Lut Malaluan, May Macatuno, Tin Miralles, Rialen Sante, Roselyn Doria

Key Additions: Ranya Musa

Imports: Erica Wilson and Anastasiya Gurbanova

Key Returnees: Rachel Anne Daquis, Jheck Dionela, Acy Masangkay, Mylene Paat

Head Coach: Edgar Barroga

The Cignal HD Spikers are looking for a great start to their PSL 2019 Season and a better outcome than their sixth-place finish in the previous Grand Prix with imports Sonja Milanovic and Jeanne Horton.

For second-year head coach Edgar Barroga, they are still not yet 100% prepared for the coming conference but their preparation with their imports Erica Martrece Wilson and Anastasiya Gurbanova are spot on. “Actually, hindi pa kami prepared pero may mga ginagawa kaming training na palagay ko makakatulong sa mga imports namin,” he said.

He is also aware that the Grand Prix is a different ball game than the All-Filipino Conference. “Siyempre, panibagong adjustments na naman kasi may mga imports. So ang locals namin pinalalakas namin lalong lalo na ang gitna namin at especially yun setters namin lalo na si Mumay (Vivas) kasi siya ang second setter namin at bago siya sa posisyon na yun.”

Aside from Vivas taking the role that was once held by May Macatuno, the HD Spikers also signed up middle blocker Ranya Musa to fortify their net defense. “Dedepende pa rin tayo sa ensayo. Makikita pa rin natin kung ano ang ilalabas nila sa ensayo. Kung kaya nila ang sistema na pinatatakbo namin. Kung hindi nila makaya, then magadjust lang para maging maayos,” Barroga mentioned about their new additions.

For team skipper Rachel Anne Daquis, their preparation is still not yet in top form as they are still not complete. “Honestly speaking, hindi pa siya ganon ka-intact kasi kulang kulang kami ngayon. Malaking bagay na Grand Prix nag-umpisa ngayon dahil may mga imports and magiging magandang preparation eto para sa All-Filipino Conference.” Daquis is referring to both Jovelyn Gonzaga and Janine Marciano who will be both back by the next tournament.

Mylene Paat is a revalation no more for she has shown her arsenal to become the Best Scorer of the PSL AFC 2018. The pride of Pangasinan will be a huge part of their offense together with Daquis, Gurbanova, and Wilson. Acy Masangkay will steer the wheel while Jheck Dionela will be their asset in scooping the balls from the floor.

It remains to be seen whether the Cignal HD Spikers will take a podium finish this time. That will hinge on how the two imports will complement the strengths of their locals. That will open up more opportunities for Daquis and Paat because all teams knew last conference that majority of the scoring came from them. Having their reinforcements makes their attack more unpredictable and those surprises can propel them to a deep run.