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Smart goes on first winning streak, keeps Foton struggling



Tiebreaker Times Smart goes on first winning streak, keeps Foton struggling News PSL Volleyball  SMART Prepaid Giga Hitters Roger Gorayeb Mina Aganon Lizlee Ann Pantone Grethcel Soltones Gel Cayuna Foton Blue Energy Carla Sandoval Aiko Urdas Aaron Velez 2018 PSL Season 2018 PSL All Filipino Conference
Photo from Roman Prospero/PSL

The Smart Giga Hitters played their best match of the tournament, sweeping the short-handed Foton Tornadoes Blue Energy, 25-21, 25-19, 25-18, in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference at the Strike Gym in Bacoor, Cavite.

After losing three straight matches, Smart have notched victories their last two.

Against Foton, the Giga Hitters were splendid in every scoring skill, notably tallying a 42-31 spiking advantage and recording a season-low 16 errors.

Smart did all this while missing starting setter Jasmine Nabor, and middle blockers Cza Carandang and Celine Domingo, all of whom attended to academic commitments.

Head coach Roger Gorayeb lauded his wards’ resilience and hoped for this to be a sign of consistency.

“Kailangan talaga namin manalo. Dapat nga noon pa kami naglalaro ng ganyan kasi ayaw ko naman na nandoon kami sa ilalim. Kahit papaano, meron din namang na-achieve ‘yung mga bata. Sana maging start na ‘to,” said Gorayeb.

“Siguro kung kukunin mo lahat ng skills, ito na ‘yung best. ‘Yung teamwork, depensa, pati galaw nila maganda. Medyo iba ‘yung kilos ng Foton. Sabi ko nga sa mga bata, samantalahin natin. Meron tayong opporturnity, i-grab na natin. ‘Wag na natin pahirapan ang sarili natin,” he added.

Captain Aiko Urdas led the Giga Hitters with 18 points. Grethcel Soltones and Jerrili Malabanan added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Mina Aganon led the Tornadoes with 12 points and eight excellent receptions, while Carla Sandoval managed 10.

Smart (4-5) round out their preliminaries on Saturday against the Petron Blaze Spikers (9-0). Foton (5-4) look to snap their three-game slide against the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors (0-9) on Tuesday.

The Scores

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Smart (3) – Urdas 18, Soltones 13, Malabanan 12, Villegas 5, Cayuna 4, Sta. Rita 4, Eroa (L), Pantone (L)

Foton (0) – Aganon 12, Sandoval 10, Ortiz 9, Rosario 7, Casugod 3, Fabay 1, Sy 0, Perez 0, Yongco 0, Reyes (L)

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.