Surrounded by a crowd that mostly cheers on her opponents and cheers on her every mistake, Tai Bierria said she summons a quality people commonly call pride. Or maybe spunk. Or daring.
Import Cignal has a much better term for it.
“Angas. Yeah, I learned from that,” says Bierria.
HD Spikers showcased Bierria’s inspired play and turned a disappointing first set into a Win 17-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-14 overcame Choco Mucho on Tuesday, reaching the semi-finals of the final Premier Volleyball League Reinforcement Conference even before the fourth set began.
Due to a scoring system that would be applied to break ties, the Flying Titans needed a little more to advance to the semifinals: Four-set victory. And their fans cheered them on especially after they won the opening set.
It could have been Choco Mucho’s downfall when Bierria heard cheers after each Cignal error.
“It gives me a little more attitude on the court; like you do something wrong [and] you hear all the cheers,” said Bierra, who finished the match with the top 18 points.
“Okay, I’ll shut up with you,” she added.
WATCH: Tai Bierria after Cignal beat Choco Mucho in front of 4,000 fans: It gave me a little more attitude on the pitch. You do something wrong, you hear all the cheers. I was like okay, I’ll silence you. Little Angas, I learned from that. | via Lance Agcaoili/Inquirer Sports
Sent by Sports Questioner Tuesday, November 22, 2022
The Flying Titans were muted towards the end of the third set. HD Spikers led that 2-1 set and qualified for the semi-finals after pocketing two sets. Still, Cignal made sure it made it to the next round with a little extra sauce to move on to the next round.
“This is special,” said Bierria after Cignal joined Creamline, Chery Tiggo and Petro Gazz in the next round. “Considering how hard we’ve worked, this is a blessing.”
Both teams opted to play all-Filipinos at the start of the match, but that didn’t faze Bierria. She finished with 14 kills and 4 aces to silence Choco Mucho fans, who make up the majority of the 4,000 people.
Creamline will carry a 7-1 (win-lose) record into the semi-finals. Cool Smashers’ only loss was against F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, who beat Angels of Petro Gazz, 25-16, 25-22, 27-25 in the second game.
Chery Tiggo advanced with a record of 6-2 while Cignal took the last seat in the next round with a score of 5-3.
Ces Molina gave Bierria a lot of support as she brought in 13 points and 9 digs.
After losing the first set, Cignal coach Shaq delos Santos reminded his wards that they only needed two sets to take the lead, but he still wanted his wards to show their lethal form.
“I told them this is our chance, we should not pass it up. And honestly, we have more experience than Choco Mucho,” Delos Santos said in Filipino.
HD Spikers woke up from that first set collision as Bierria pulled her team 23-19 lead in the second set before hitting the setpoint, 24-20, with a block against the entry Flying Titans Odina Aliyeva export.
“We had grueling training sessions and that helped us in games like this,” Bierria said.
Choco Mucho’s hopes were further dimmed after two of the team’s beloved stars were injured. Kat Tolentino injured her right knee after trying to dig up Bierria’s shot midway through the second set before Des Cheng injured her right little finger, forcing her to leave the match with HD Spikers in the lead. 21-15.
Tolentino returned in the fourth round, but by then the semi-final door had slammed shut in front of the Flying Titans.
Choco Mucho exited with a record of 3-5.
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