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Cignal staves off elimination with thrilling five-set win over Petron

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Daquis, Gonzaga rally the Cignal HD Spikers (2:12)

Rachel Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga rally the Cignal HD Spikers past the top-seeded Petron Blaze Spikers in five sets. (2:12)

With their backs against the wall, the Cignal HD Spikers turned to their dynamic duo. Just three points away from elimination at 15-22 in the fourth set, Rachel Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga stepped up to lead the HD Spikers erased the deficit to force a deciding fifth set.

They had help from teammates in the final frame but it was Daquis who put the finishing touches with back-to-back hits as the HD Spikers escaped with a 25-20, 10-25, 16-25, 27-25, 15-11 win over Petron in the Philippine SuperLiga All-Filipino Conference semifinals on Tuesday at the Muntinlupa Sports Center.

Daquis finished with team-high 21 points, including five blocks. Gonzaga had 15 points, while Mylene Paat added nine markers.

The HD Spikers, who forced the twice-to-beat Petron to a do-or-die contest, had a hot start but sputtered in the middle frames before regaining steam in the homestretch.

After dropping the opening frame, the Blaze Spikers went on a tear and easily took the second set, 25-10.

It was the same story in the third set, although the HD Spikers put up some fight, coming to within five, 20-15. But the Blaze Spikers were quick to restore order and take a commanding 2-1 lead in sets.

But Cignal refused to just roll over and die, thanks in large part to the efforts of the two seasoned spikers, who combined for seven points during that crucial stretch in the fourth frame.

The HD Spikers raced off to a 3-0 start in the final frame. Petron tried to keep within striking distance but a couple of hits from Taira Robins-Hardy, Gonzaga, and Daquis sealed the victory for fifth-seed Cignal.

Aiza Maizo-Pontillas led Petron with 22 points while Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons scored 20 and 17 points, respectively.

The deciding match is scheduled for Thursday at 7:00 PM at the FilOil Flying V Centre, with the winner facing F2 Logistics in the finals.