Wanting to end their campaign with hardware, the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters survived a late Cignal HD Spikers surge to cop the 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix bronze, 25-19, 25-18, 20-25, 20-25, 19-17, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Handily taking the first two sets, PLDT then fell off in the next two and were dragged into a fifth set. According to head coach Roger Gorayeb, this was a symptom of PLDT’s struggles through the tournament.
“Sakit na talaga namin ‘yung biglang nawawala sa laro. Nagbabago timpla namin after manalo,” said Gorayeb.
The fifth set saw PLDT go ahead, 14-12, before their own back-to-back errors kept Cignal in the match. PLDT’s Grace Lazard decided the match, powering in a spike before blocking Cignal HD’s Ana Artemeva for the match’s final sequence.
Gorayeb emphasized the importance of salvaging bronze. The Power Hitters debuted last season, finishing sixth in the All-Filipino Conference. A third place result represents a significant improvement for PLDT.
“Natutuwa ako kasi hindi lang para sa kanila, para din sa kumpanya namin kasi alam mo hanggat sumusuporta sila may malalaruan kami ng volleyball,” added Gorayeb, whose wards remained unbeaten in five-setters.
“Natutuwa rin ako kasi bago kaming sali dito pangalawang conference namin coming from sixth place. Ngayon naman maganda standing namin. Nasa third place kami so maganda yun para sa mga bata,” he continued.
Kendra Dahlke led PLDT with 27 points, while Lazard finished with 22.
Cignal HD improved on their sixth-place standing in the 2018 Grand Prix. Erica Wilson exploded for 33 points, while Ana Artemeva added 17.
PLDT (3) – Dahlke 27, Lazard 22, Urdas 14, Soltones 12, Devanadera 3, Nabor 2, Alvarez 0, Sta. Rita 0, Pantone (L)
Cignal HD (2) – Wilson 33, Artemeva 17, Paat 11, Daquis 9, Vivas 3, Masangkay 2, Navarro 2, Cardiente 0, Musa 0, Salamagos 0, Dionela (L)