Cignal senses danger

Games Saturday:
(Sta. Rosa Sports Complex)
2:30 p.m. — PLDT vs Army
5:30 p.m. — Akari vs Cignal

Cignal head coach Shaq de los Santos knows that they are in for a rough outing against newcomer Akari when they open their campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.

He has good reasons to say so as the Chargers will parade a young but experienced crew backed by an Olympian import in Prisilla Rivera of the Dominican Republic.

“We can’t say that they are just a new team with young players. I’m sure they’ll go all-out, 100 percent they’ll give their best,” De los Santos said of their opponent at the 5:30 p.m. main game.

“And they have a very good import, an Olympian, so we should be ready come game time,” he added.

However, the HD Spikers, who finished third in the Open and Invitational conferences, will still be the favored squad behind a battle-tested roster led by Rachel Anne Daquis, Ces Molina, Angeli Araneta, Riri Meneses and Jeck Dionela.

Cignal has also added another offensive weapon in athletic reinforcement in American outside spiker Tai Bierria.

“Cignal is a very strong team. They’ve been in third place for a couple of conferences. I guess it will be a tough game for us because they have really good players,” Akari coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito said.

Rivera will be backed by top setter Michelle Cobb, hitters Jho Maraguinot, Ciara Permentilla, Lycha Ebon, Trisha Genesis and libero Dani Ravena.

Meanwhile, PLDT and Army cross paths in the 2:30 p.m. curtainraiser.

Mika Reyes, Jules Samonte, Fiola Ceballos, Mean Mendrez, libero Kath Arado and seasoned playmaker Rhea Dimaculangan are back to power the High Speed Hitters along with Russian import Elina Savkina-Samoilenko.

The Lady Troopers, on the other hand, will have Canadian spiker Laura Condotta leading the pack with Jovelyn Gonzaga, Royse Tubino, Audrey Paran and setter Ivy Perez providing support.

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