CAGAYAN DE ORO — Erika Raagas struggled in her homecoming but Akari still swept the also-ran Gerflor in straight sets, 25-18, 25-15, 25-19 to snap its three-game losing streak in the Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference, Saturday at the Aquilino Q. Pimentel International Convention Center here.
Raagas, who received massive cheers from the 9,862 Cagayanons inside the arena, struggled and finished with just five points as the Chargers forced a logjam at the sixth spot, tying Petro Gazz and F2 Logistics with identical 4-4 records.
“That’s the way of life. You’re gonna win, you’re gonna lose but since we’re in a competition we have to be prepared for everything even going down,” said Akari head coach Jorge Souza de Brito.
“The last match, we didn’t play better so what we have to do now play better than the other guys. But the guys really played great so it’s time to celebrate and prepare for the next step,” he added.
The Chargers dominated the first two sets but the Defenders posed a challenge early in the third and kept the game close.
Eli Soyud and Janine Marciano, however, provided the spark off the bench, leading a 6-1 blast that turned a 13-14 disadvantage into a 19-15 lead.
Faith Nisperos, whose family drove from Davao to Cagayan de Oro to support her, fired 11 points on 11 attacks for Akari while Soyud chipped in 11 markers as well on eight attacks, two service aces, and one block to help the Chargers stay in semifinals contention.
Fifi Sharma and Dindin Santiago-Manabat chipped in eight markers each while Ezra Madigal had six markers.
Danika Gendrauli paced Gerflor with nine points and eight excellent digs while Mary Grace Berte added eight points.
Akari will look to keep its playoff hopes alive against Galeries Tower on Thursday, 2:00 p.m. while Gerflor will face off against the red-hot Choco Mucho on November 28, 4:00 p.m. both at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.