Rotation confusion hounds Cignal

Cignal suffered another gruesome setback to Foton, 25-19, 25-14, 25-16, to slide to fifth place of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix on Tuesday at the Imus Sport Center.

The HD Spikers were a picture of frustration.

With their import Lynda Morales out, the HD Spikers just couldn’t get it going as they became sluggish in transition, slow on defense and lousy with their receptions.

Import Laura Schaudt was the lone provider of spark in offense with eight kills, two blocks and two aces while Janine Marciano and playmaker Shawna-Lei Santos delivered seven and six markers, respectively, but faded against the high-powered offense of Jaja Santiago, Maika Ortiz, Lindsay Stalzer and Ariel Usher.

The HD Spikers are set to close their campaign in the preliminaries against RC Cola-Army and another setback would relegate them to sixth spot, a development that would stack them against the well-oiled, powerful F2 Logistics squad featuring Sydney Kemper and Hayley Spelman.

It’s a mission impossible.

The road back to prominence, back to the finals just got rockier.

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Chaotic rotation

With Morales out for the season, Cignal’s rotation got very disorganized.

Morales, the middle blocker for Puerto Rican national team in the Olympics, left a huge void in the middle that makes it difficult for head coach Sammy Acaylar to fill.

One of the most seasoned players on the roster – Jheck Dionela – admitted that everybody got confused on how they would adjust to the extremely difficult situation.

In fact, Acaylar tried to solve it by hiring veteran setter Chie Saet midway into the season, but it still didn’t do any wonder as the HD Spikers still suffered a pair of heart-crushing setbacks.

[quote]A lot of adjustments need to be done since Lynda got injured and coach Sammy added a new player. We are still trying to adjust to this new lineup. We have no other choice.[/quote]

Dionela admitted that confusion hounded them in their game against Generika, leading to a straight-set defeat that pushed them on the verge of finishing the preliminaries at the last spot of the six-team standing.

[quote]In our game against Generika, I was very confused with our rotation. I still can’t master it. Before, I already know where I would go and what would I do. But now, everything is very complicated, but I have to absorb these changes.[/quote]

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Still hopeful

The prized libero remains defiant. She’s still hopeful. And it’s going to start on Thursday in their final game against the Lady Troopers.

She said they have to be more confident and stay together no matter what.

[quote]We just have to be confident. I know my teammates. We have our individual strengths and we crafted our name in the sport, so we should get used to the pressure. We should also get to boost our morale and jell. That’s very important.[/quote]

Dionela said it’s not yet the end of their journey. They still have a lot of gas left on their tank – and they are ready to pull off the unexpected.

[quote]I know it’s not yet the end. We can still finish strong.[/quote]

Who knows, maybe veteran Acaylar still has some aces on his sleeves.