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New Dawn: Cignal’s Catindig flexes defense; Creamline sits recruits in win over Farm Fresh

JR Isaga

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New Dawn: Cignal’s Catindig flexes defense; Creamline sits recruits in win over Farm Fresh

WINNING START. Creamline spiker Alyssa Valdez (left) and Cignal libero Dawn Macandili-Catindig react in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference.

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Former F2 star libero Dawn Macandili-Catindig shines brightest in a stacked PVL triple-header highlighted by new recruits like Grethcel Soltones and Celine Domingo

MANILA, Philippines – The Cignal HD Spikers are entering a new era with nothing but gold in sight in the PVL.

Already four-time bronze medalists since joining the league in 2021, the perennial contenders kicked off another title-contention bid in style with a four-set win over fellow reloaded squad Akari Chargers, 21-25, 25-18, 25-12, 25-18, on Saturday, February 24, at the Araneta Coliseum.

Longtime F2 star libero Dawn Macandili-Catindig quickly proved a system shift hardly fazed her elite defensive instincts as she carried the Cignal defense with 22 excellent digs and 11 excellent receptions in just her first official game.

Rising star spiker Vanie Gandler, meanwhile, led a balanced scoring effort with 19 points, as the likes of Roselyn Doria (16 points), Ces Molina (16 points), and Ria Meneses (13 points) also stood out.

In the main event, the defending champion Creamline Cool Smashers withstood a stunning, extended first-set loss and prevailed in four against the gutsy Farm Fresh Foxies, 34-36, 25-23, 25-22, 25-15, to kick off their title defense bid in character-building fashion.

Three-time MVP Tots Carlos led the way with 19 points on 17 attacks and 2 blocks, same as Farm Fresh’s Trisha Tubu, while Jema Galanza scored 15 to go with 13 excellent receptions and 6 excellent digs.

Middle blocker Pangs Panaga added 12 points with a game-high 5 blocks as the Cool Smashers patiently await the arrival of new net defender Bea de Leon, libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla, and beach volleyball standout Dij Rodriguez.

Creamline head coach Sherwin Meneses explained that the trio are in the final stages of their conditioning process and will debut next Thursday, February 29, against Akari and former Cool Smashers star Celine Domingo.

Domingo, fresh off a title-winning import stint with Thailand’s Nakhon Ratchasima, played sparingly in Akari’s loss to Cignal after only having one day’s worth of practice.

The Chargers’ other star recruit, former V-League MVP Grethcel Soltones, tallied 14 points, 13 excellent receptions, and 12 excellent digs.

In the opening game of the day’s triple-header, the Chery Tiggo Crossovers schooled Strong Group Athletics, 25-12, 25-17, 25-19, to rise to a 2-0 record.

Former league MVP Mylene Paat led the way with 10 points as five others scored at least 5, thanks to the playmaking of Joyme Cagande. –

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