Needing momentary breathing room for a top four spot, the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters ended their 2019 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix elimination round campaign with a sweep of United Volleyball Club, 25-23, 25-16, 25-22, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
PLDT opened the match behind 12-17, but quickly regained their footing thanks to a 5-1 run spearheaded by import Kendra Dahlke. Kendra Lazard then struck late in the first set, finding a kill and a block that put PLDT up, 24-22. Following a block from UVC captain Kalei Mau, Lazard ended the set with a ferocious quick attack.
The next two sets had the Power Hitters dominate wire-to-wire, as UVC failed to respond to their offensive assaults.
The win places PLDT at an 8-6 record, giving them hold of the third seed and a quarterfinal twice-to-beat advantage temporarily, as Cignal HD (7-6) and UVC (6-6) finish off their elimination round schedule.
PLDT head coach Roger Gorayeb expressed his delight at his team’s performance in a crucial outing.
“Malaking bagay para sa amin kasi nga sobrang crucial nung laban kung gusto namin na may kaunting advantage kami sa quarters,” said Gorayeb.
“Wala pang sure sa standings, pero maganda na nakapwesto kami ngayon. Maghihintay na lang kami ng resulta na, hopefully, pumabor sa amin,” the triple crown champion in the PVL added.
Dahlke finished with 24 points off 21 attacks, two blocks, and an ace, while Lazard contributed 15 markers.
UVC were still without import Tai Manu-Olevao, who was still in Hawaii attending to a personal matter. Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani topped UVC with 21 points, while Mau managed 18.
UVC face Petron (12-0) on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
PLDT (3) – Dahlke 24, Lazard 15, Urdas 9, Soltones 5, Nabor 3, Sta. Rita 2, Alvarez 0, Pantone (L)
UVC (0) – Bedart-Ghani 21, Mau 18, Ahomiro 5, Palec 3, Robins-Hardy 3, Angustia 2, Tejada 1, Tiu 1, Pineda (L)