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Cignal moves on to semifinals, after four-set win over Generika-Ayala

Cignal threw its defensive blanket to frustrate Generika-Ayala, 25-15, 17-25, 25-18, 25-22, in the quarterfinals of the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Filipino-American setter Alohi Robins-Hardy was the star of the show for the HD Spiker, who tallied 16 blocks to coast to the semifinals of this prestigious women's club league tourney that has Team Rebel Sports, SOGO, Eurotel, PCSO, Cocolife, UCPB Gen, Mueller, Senoh, Asics, Bizooku and One Sport as sponsors.

The HD Spikers will face Petron while Foton will collide with F2 Logistics, which swept Sta. Lucia in the second game, in the semifinals on this tourney that has ESPN5 and Kapatid TV5 as broadcast partners starting Tuesday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.

Robins-Hardy had a spectacular display of all-around brilliance, finishing with 19 excellent sets on top of 13 points while having seven of the HD Spikers 16 blocks.

Rachel Anne Daquis also led the charge with 14 points while Mylene Paat and Jovelyn Gonzaga nailed the finishing touches and added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

"We had enough preparation for this round and I told them that our fate is in our hands. They really gave everything," said Cignal head coach Edgar Barroga. "Our two losses to Generika was also a factor. It was a challenge for us.

Paat and Gonzaga delivered the winning points when Cignal squandered a 23-18 lead in the fourth set as Generika-Ayala scored five straight unanswered points trimming it to just one, 23-22.

Paat nailed a kill to stop the bleeding, which was initially called as an attack error but head coach Edgar Barroga challenged the call and it went successful with the ball clearly hitting down the line for match point, before Gonzaga delivered the semis-clinching spiker.

The Lifesavers had the edge in attacking with a 47-42 advantage but they committed 27 errors and the HD Spikers' blocking was formidable with a 16-5 differential.

Fiola Ceballos had 25 points laced with 17 digs and eight excellent receptions, while Patty Orendain added 11 markers only for Generika-Ayala, which finished fourth with an 8-6 win-loss record, to fail winning the match that mattered most in their All-Filipino campaign.