May 29, 2024

PVL: Emotional Jovelyn Gonzaga, Cignal fought for pride in hard-earned win over PLDT

PVL: Emotional Jovelyn Gonzaga, Cignal fought for pride in hard-earned win over PLDT
Jovelyn Gonzaga shows resolve in Cignal’s win over PLDT. | Photo (c) PVL

Jovelyn Gonzaga and the Cignal HD Spikers entered their clash against the PLDT High Speed Hitters Saturday with a sense of defiance and resilience.

Even after being eliminated from the Final Four race of the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference just minutes after the match began due to a significant shift in league standings, the HD Spikers were determined to make a statement.

For Gonzaga and the rest of the HD Spikers, the game was no longer about simply winning – it was about playing for pride. 

And they did exactly just that.

Despite losing the opening set, Cignal did not lose heart and dug deep, mounting a spirited comeback for a hard-earned 24-26, 26-24, 25-17, 28-26 victory that dealt a stunning blow to PLDT’s semis chances at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex. 


[ALSO READ: PVL: Jovelyn Gonzaga, Cignal play spoilers, ending their two-game slide at the expense of PLDT]

“Ayaw naming matapos ang conference na 'to na somehow 'di namin nababalik 'yung pride namin and 'yung identity namin,” Gonzaga said.

Before their morale-boosting triumph, the HD Spikers endured two consecutive defeats, losing in straight sets to the Chery Tiggo Crossovers and the Petro Gazz Angels. These back-to-back losses had a significant impact on the team's morale and confidence.

To rebuild their self-esteem, Gonzaga and her teammates took the advice of their coaches, who recommended watching videos of their best performances from previous matches. 

“Pumunta ako dito na inspired sa game na 'to and aware talaga ako na for past games sobrang I fell short talaga. And I need to step up kasi 'yung tiwala ng coaching staff hindi talaga nawala sa amin. And nabitin kami sa semis pero gusto kong bigyan ng credit 'yung effort ng coaching staff sa amin na pag-intindi,” bared Gonzaga, who turned emotional.

“Sabi nga ng coaching staff na panoorin niyo 'yung mga pinaka-best na nilaro niyo para maibalik niyo 'yung pride niyo sa sarili niyo. Pinanood ko 'yung sa beach volley and 'yung Cignal na laro namin na naipanalo para gusto ko kasing ibalik 'yung sarili ko kasi kailangan talaga ako ng team.”


 Gonzaga, who only averaged six points in the past two outings, came through in Cignal’s win over PLDT. She delivered a team-high 16 points built on 12 attacks, three blocks, and two aces.


[ALSO READ: PVL: Jovelyn Gonzaga strives to be a vocal leader for Cignal]


The rest of the HD Spikers also made their presence felt, with captain Ces Molina and Vanie Gandler contributing 15 and 12 points, respectively. 

Gel Cayuna set Cignal up for victory with 19 excellent sets, on top of three blocks for six points, while Dawn Macandili-Catindig anchored on defense with 19 digs and 16 receptions. 

“Nag-focus talaga kami and thankful talaga din, credit din sa teammates and sa decision-making ng coaching staff na nakuha talaga namin 'yung panalong 'yon. And ang sarap sa feeling na somehow naka-recover 'yung pride namin somehow,” Gonzaga said.

Gonzaga and the HD Spikers are bent on ending their campaign on a high, facing off against the Capital1 Solar Spikers on April 27, Saturday, to repay the trust of the people rallying behind them.

“Grabe, kahit ito na 'yung na-experience ng team, grabe ang suporta't paniniwala pa rin ng management sa amin and ng coaching staff, hindi kami iniwan, hindi kami sinusukuan. So eto na lang 'yung balik talaga namin sa kanila. And 'yung preparation and 'yung mind setting for the next conference,” Gonzaga said.