Pao Pablico and the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters live to fight another day after outlasting defending Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference champions Go For Gold-Air Force Jet Spikers, 26-24, 20-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-13, in Game Two of the best-of-three semis series, Sunday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
“We have a game plan, kaso hindi na-implement nang one-hundred percent, pero medyo effective naman. Medyo tapat na sila, they trust me and tell me if they cannot play anymore, palit muna or pahinga, so yung trust medyo nakita ko na,” said PLDT head coach Odjie Mamon.
Adamson standout Pablico spearheaded PLDT with 18 points, 16 of which came from attacks while Joshua Umandal fired 16 points built on 13 attacks, two aces, and a block to go along with 21 excellent receptions and eight digs.
With the scores tied at four-all in the fifth frame, Pablico sparked a 4-0 rally to put the Power Hitters up by four points, 8-4. Bagunas, however, was a man possessed coming off a timeout, unleashing six points in a 7-2 rally to give his squad the lead, 11-10.
Richard Solis and Josh Umandal kept their squad afloat, scoring on consecutive possessions to retake the lead at 12-11. A net infraction from Air Force followed by an attack error from Kim Malabunga proved to be the difference in the game, as it provided the Power Hitters a 14-13 advantage.
John Vic De Guzman finished the match with a block on Ranran Abdilla.
Ronchette Villegas dished out 22 excellent sets while De Guzman and Peter Quiel added 10 points, respectively, to force a do-or-die match with the Jet Spikers.
Mark Alfafara missed the game due to acute gastroenteritis.
On the other hand, Bagunas led Air Force with 25 points built on 20 attacks and five aces while Abdilla added 18 points and 16 excellent receptions.
PLDT and Air Force will dispute one of the two Finals slots on Tuesday, July 16 at 2:00 P.M. at the same venue.
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