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Import-less PLDT sweeps UP, marches to the finals



Despite not fielding imports Victoria Hurtt and Sareena Freeman, the PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters made short work of their semifinals opponents, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 25-11, 25-17, 25-17 to book a slot in the finals of the Shakeys V-League Reinforced Conference in the FilOil Flying V Arena, Sunday afternoon.

PLDT started hot with Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Sue Roces and Janine Marciano, overwhelming the younger Diliman-based squad with their attacks and aces. The Lady Maroons struggled to get their groove in the set with errors and poor reception hampering their effort to keep in touch with PLDT.

The Lady Maroons found themselves in a 1-8 disadvantage in the following set but Isa Molde, Kathy Bersola and Justine Dorog conspired to put the Lady Maroons back in the game at 9-16. Still, Lou Ann Latigay,Pontillas and Roces silenced the Lady Maroons’ comeback atttempt and won the set handiy.

Both teams figured in several deadlocks in the third frame as Molde and Carlos tried to keep the Lady Maroons afloat against the veteran PLDT, pulling their to a tie at 15, Rubie De Leon unloaded an ace to give the Ultra Fast Hitters a slim advantage at 16-15 then Pontillas, Latigay and Charo Soriano took over in dispatching the Lady Maroons.

“Paghahandaan namin ang finals, masyadong overkill kapag pinalaro ang mga imports laban sa UP. Pero sa Finals papalaruin na namin ‘yung mga import. Maganda rin na napanoood nila (imports) ‘yung laro namin ngayon sak ‘yung lalaruin ng Army para makita nila kung paano ang laro talaga dito sa atin. Ang gusto ko talaga ‘yung locals ko ang magturo sa kanila hindi ‘yung sila ‘yung magtutro sa amin. Hindi puwedeng ‘yung dalawa ang magdala sa labing-isa, dapat ‘yung labing-isa ang magadala sa dalawa,’’ said PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb who has led his teams to all three Conference FInals of the V-League this season.

Pontillas finished with 13 points with Roces chipping in 11 markers and Marciano had nine points together with eight digs for PLDT. Meanwhile, Molde lead the Lady Maroons with seven points all from attacks while Marian Buitre and Carlos combined for 12 points.

The Ultra Fast Hitters will face the winner of Philippine Army and  Philippine Navy semifinals series while the Lady Maroons relegated in a battle of bronze.

The Series:PLDT (3) – Pontillas 13, Roces 11, Marciano 9, Latigay 8, Soriano 6,De Leon 3, Soltones 1, Ferrer 1, Pantone (L), De Jesus (L)

UP (0) – Molde 7, Buitre 6, Carlos 6, Bersola 5, Dorog 4, Basarte 3, Tiamzon 0, Lai 0, Gaiser (L)