Missing one import for the second match in a row, United Volleyball Club clinched one of their most crucial wins of the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix behind a stellar performance from Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani.
The American pumped in 20 points and spearheaded UVC’s 25-18, 25-23, 25-22 win over the struggling Foton Blue Energy Tornadoes at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
UVC were without Tai Manu-Olevao who was still in Hawaii attending to a personal matter. Bedart-Ghani did her damage on an efficient 19-for-41 clip. Captain Kalei Mau was also crucial, providing 11 points off nine attacks and two aces.
UVC improved their record to 6-5, one match behind Cignal HD and PLDT (7-6), whom they face on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre, for the third seed and a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
“Very crucial game for us, especially after PLDT’s loss earlier,” said UVC head coach Joshua Ylaya. “Our standings are pretty close. I think we have a very crucial game on Thursday. Credit to our team for bouncing back after our horrible loss.”
Ylaya was elated to have his team recover from their five-set loss to Generika-Ayala last week.
“Ang sinabi namin sa kanila na our last game, 80 percent of it was our best defensive efforts,” he continued. “We just had a problem closing out sets. Our problem was relaxing on the crucial moments. It hit us pretty bad. That’s a feeling na we’d rather experience now than later. They don’t want to lose like that again.”
Against Foton, UVC were methodical, bombing their foes for eight aces and turning their defensive plays into transition offense orchestrated by setter Alohi Robins-Hardy, who finished with 27 excellent sets and four points.
Milagros Collar topped the Tornadoes with 19 points while Courtney Felinski managed 12.
Foton (1-10) takes on F2 Logistics (8-3) on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
UVC (3) – Bedart-Ghani 20, Mau 11, Ahomiro 6, Angustia 5, Robins-Hardy 4, Palec 1, Tejada 0, Tiu 0, Pineda (L)
Foton (0) – Collar 19, Felinski 12, Aganon 3, Ortiz 3, Rosario 2, Kasilag 1, Manabat 1, Sy 1, Adorador 0, Perez 0, Reyes (L)