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Depleted PLDT breezes past Summer Spikers

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Though missing services of key players and their Head Coach, the PLDT Home Ultera Ultrafast Hitters made short work of the star-struck Baguio Summer Spikers in straight sets 25-10, 25-16, 25-21 in the opening round of the Shakey’s V-League at the San Juan Arena.

Proving that they were in a different class compared to their foes, PLDT mercilessly tore through Baguio’s outmatched blockers, building a 44-13 attack gap. PLDT’s offensive onslaught made up for their 27 errors.

The first two sets was an offensive showcase for PLDT’s prized acquisition, Jaja Santiago, and veterans Sue Roces and Laurence Latigay. The Summer Spikers could not do anything but watch PLDT’s spikers rain down attacks on their shaky defense. It wasn’t until the final set that the Summer Spikers made things interesting.

Attack errors and spotty blocking, allowed Baguio to keep pace with PLDT, forcing a few ties and taking their largest mid-set lead at 17-15. From that point, the Ultrafast Spikers shifted gears and tightened up their floor defense, allowing Sue Roces and Jaja Santiago to finish off the match.

The former UE Lady Warrior, Roces led all scorers with 16 markers off 15 attacks while Santiago and Latigay pitched in 11 apiece.

PLDT Coach Roger Gorayeb and Spikers, Amanda Villanueva and Gretchel Soltones were unable to attend the match as they were still in Thailand after a successful AVC Beach Volleyball Continental Cup campaign. Alyssa Valdez did not suit up as she had commitments in Batangas that she had to attend to. Valdez tried to make it to San Juan but was apparently stuck in traffic.

The Scores:

PLDT (3) – Roces 16, Latigay 11, Santiago 11, Kasilag 7, De Leon 4, Mendiola 3, Devandara 2, Soriano 1, Ferrer 1, Pontone (L), Lazaro (L)

Baguio (0) – Tsuchiya 4, Benitez 4, Madulid R. 3, Madulid F. 3, Tolentino 2, Almonte 2, Torres 1, Rossi 1, Daniel 0, Agudia 0, Degay (L), Abella (L)

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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.

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