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Wilson, Artemeva lift Cignal over Sta. Lucia

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After a sluggish start, Cignal caught fire, torching Sta. Lucia in the second and third sets before going for the kill in the fourth to pull off a 23-25, 25-11, 25-16, 25-23 victory in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Bacoor Strike Gym here.

Import Erica Wilson sustained her fiery form as she led the HD Spikers to a furious rally midway through the match of this prestigious women’s club tourney that has ESPN5 and 5Plus as broadcast partners.

Wilson, the Arizona State University stalwart who once suited up for the United States in the FIVB Women’s U23 World Championship, was impressive, tallying 18 kills, three blocks and four aces for a 23-point performance.

Her fellow import, Anastasia Artemeva of Azerbaijan, nailed 17 markers while national team member Mylene Paat drilled in 13 points for HD Spikers coach Edgar Barroga, who gave skipper Rachel Anne Daquis limited minutes that paved the way for the explosion of Wilson and Artemeva.

“I devised a strategy in the second and third sets so I decided to put both Ana (Artemeva) and Erica at the open spiker spots while Mylene takes care of the opposite,” said Barroga, whose wards posted their second straight win after falling prey to F2 Logistics in their first match.

“Fortunately for us, it worked. Ana and Erica gave us a lot of scoring punches while Mylene was very reliable at the defensive end.”
Barroga said he’s happy over the character shown by his squad, especially Daquis, who is tipped to have her hands full offensively as the tournament progresses.

“This is a long tourney and we want Rachel to be fresh for the tough grind ahead,” Barroga said, noting that they stepped on the gas in the second set when they posted a 16-5 lead.

“Even though we’re down at some moments, we stayed together and continued fighting as a team.”

Imports Casey Schoenlein and Molly Lohman combined for 24 points for the Lady Realtors, who slid to 1-3 win-loss card in the early stretch of this tourney that has Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, Senoh, Team Rebel Sports, Bizooku, UCPB Gen, Cocolife, Hotel Sogo and Data Project as sponsors.