Bad breaks continue to hound Cignal in its campaign in the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix.
Shortly after losing import Lynda Morales to injury, the HD Spikers are tipped to miss their starting setter in Filipino-American Shawna-Lei Santos following a freak accident at the dugout of the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
Head coach Sammy Acaylar revealed that Santos suffered a left ankle sprain after she slipped in the shower room of the coliseum moments after absorbing a sorry 16-25, 16-25, 25-22, 16-25 loss from the hands of F2 Logistics on Saturday.
She was immediately given medical attention, but with the looks of it, it appears that she would be sitting out their crucial battle against RC Cola-Army on Tuesday in Imus Cavite.
Acaylar said the game against the Lady Troopers is something they can’t afford to lose so he will come up with all kinds of adjustments just to fill the void that would be created by the absence of Morales and Santos.
[quote]I told Mumay (Cherry Vivas) to get ready because she’s going to be the setter on Tuesday. But seriously, this is a very unfortunate incident. It seems that we can’t catch a good break. Everything is stacked against us. So we’re just laughing it off because we really can’t do anything about it.[/quote]
Acaylar said F2 Logistics did a masterful job of exposing their weak net defense by allowing its import, Hayley Spelman, to attack. Then, when Ramil de Jesus pulled her out in the crucial stretch of the fourth set, the local crew of Cha Cruz, Cyd Demecillo and Aby Marano did damage, completely dooming whatever chances the HD Spikers had.
Morales, the skipper of the Puerto Rican team in the Rio Olympics who saw action for PSL-F2 Logistics Manila in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship was not around after sustaining a left ankle sprain in the early stretch of their previous match against Generika last week.
[quote]It could have been a different story if Lynda was around. But since we have no Lynda to defend the net, I shuffled my players just to find the right combination that would counter F2 Logistics. I did everything I can. Unfortunately, nothing happened. We still lost the match.[/quote]
Janine Marciano delivered 13 points while Paneng Mercado had 11 markers for the HD Spikers, who suffered their fourth loss in five games.
Ray of hope
But all is not yet lost for Cignal.
Acaylar vowed to come up with more set and combination plays in the next few days to counter the power of heavyweights Foton, Petron and even RC Cola-Army. The Tornadoes have yet to be defeated while the Tri-Activ Spikers continue to take the tournament by storm, thanks to their powerful import by the name of Stephanie Niemer.
[quote]We know we don’t have an import that is the same caliber as Niemer or (Lindsay) Stalzer. That’s why we have to do well in our preparation and come up with more set plays to give our players more options on offense. We have to do our homework. And we’ll start it on Monday.[/quote]
If playoffs start today, Cignal would face the fourth seed in RC Cola-Army while the last seed would take on F2 Logistics based on the official tournament format of the FIVB Grand Prix.
Acaylar said there’s still a ray of hope to make it to the semis if they pull off a miracle in the playoffs.
[quote]It’s not yet over. Everybody still has a chance. All we need is one good game to make it to the semifinals. And that good game should happen in the playoffs.[/quote]
Acaylar said like that of Morales, Santos’ left foot is now heavily bandaged and they are all praying for her fast recovery. After all, their championship dream greatly depends on that swollen left ankle.