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PLDT sink Navy, lock semis slot

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The PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters firmly held their grip on the second spot in the standings and booked a slot in the semi-finals of the Shakeys V-League Reinforced Conference, sinking the Philippine Navy Lady Sailors 25-20, 20-25, 25-13, 25-13 at the FilOil Flying V Arena, Saturday afternoon.

Pau Soriano and Hezzymei Acuna led the Lady Sailors on their quick start in the first set, creating an 8-5 lead. With the help of Gretchel Soltones and some errors from the Philippine Navy, PLDT were able to catch up and retake the lead, 16-14. Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Janine Marciano, and Rubie De Leon joined forces in burying the Lady Sailors in the set.

The Lady Sailors bounced back in the second set through Soriano and Lilet Mabbayad to overwhelm the Ultra Fast Hitters with their attacks, as they built a 22-12 lead. PLDT, from the efforts of Maizo-Pontillas, Marciano, and Sasa Devanadera, were able to chase down the Lady Sailors and trim the lead to three, 23-20. Soriano and Florence Madulid salvaged the set for the Lady Sailors as they scored the last two points of the set to stop the comeback of PLDT.

PLDT were back to business in the following set with Maizo-Pontillas leading the charge, sinking the Philippine Navy with a 20-9 lead as the Lady Sailors struggled to find their offensive rhythm in the set. PLDT continued their domination over the Philippine Navy in the fourth set as the Navy were unable to control their errors.

After the game, PLDT Head Coach Roger Gorayeb said the Ultra Fast Hitters were not in their groove in the second set, and the Lady Sailors capitalized on their vulnerability.

“Malata na nilaro namin noong second set, gusto manalo ng kalaban, habol kami nang habol, tulad kanina hinabol namin siya kaso gusto manalo ng kabila,” Gorayeb said.

Marciano and Pontillas combined for 30 points but the latter also had eight digs, while Devanadera and Soltones chipped 13 and 10 markers apiece. De Leon tossed 33 excellent sets for PLDT. Soriano scored 17 points, all coming from attacks to lead the Lady Sailors and Mabbayad contributed 12 hits.

The Ultra Fast Hitters (3-1) will next face KIA Forte (0-3) on November 14 at 3:00 PM while the Lady Sailors already wrap up their elimination campaign with 2-3 win-loss card.

The Scores:

PLDT(3)- Pontillas 15, Marciano 15, Devanadera 13, Soltones 10, Roces 7, De Leon 6, De Jesus 3, Latigay 1, Soriano 0, Ferrer 0, Pantone (L)

PHI Navy (1)- Soriano 17, Mabbayad 12, Madulid 4, Acuna 4, Eguia 4, Diaz 1, Veronas 1, Martinez 1, Serafica 1, Ticar (L), Fortuno (L)

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