KingWhale Taipei fended off PLDT in five sets, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 20-25, 15-13 for its second win in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference semifinals at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Tuesday.
Beatrz Flavio de Carvalho once again topscored for the Taiwanese team, delivering 19 points on 15 attacks, three blocks, and an ace to go along with 19 excellent digs to push her side to 2-0.
“They are very strong and they are cooperative. Today’s competition made us learn, and it taught us many things. Their coach is very smart, the PLDT coach,” said KingWhale head coach Teng Yen-Min. “In set 5, my players are doing their best, and they made themselves strong in their body and heart.”
The High Speed Hitters were on their way to sealing the win after Jules Samonte nailed one in off a combination play to put PLDT ahead by four points, 12-8, in the final set.
Chen Li-Jun, however, came to the rescue for KingWhale and fired three points in a 6-0 blast that placed her team at match point, 14-12.
Jovy Prado saved a point for PLDT but Mika Reyes’ service went straight to the net which sealed the win for the Taiwanese.
Liao Yi-Jen steered KingWhale’s offense with 36 excellent sets along laced with two points.
Li-Jun chipped in 13 points and 14 excellent receptions while Chen Chieh and Tsai Qin-Yao added 11 points and 10 points, respectively.
The High Speed Hitters gutted out a tight 25-23 win in the opening set after Mika Reyes and Jovy Prado broke a 23-deadlock.
PLDT, however, lost steam in the next two as the KingWhale took a 2-1 lead.
Looking to even things up, the High Speed Hitters built a seven-point advantage, 24-17. Germina Jacobs scored two points in a 3-0 spurt to keep KingWhale alive but Reyes hammered a quick to send the game to a fifth set.
Dell Palomata paced PLDT with 19 points while Reyes and Samonte scored 17 points and 16 points, respectively.
Rhea Dimaculangan tossed 32 excellent sets while Kath Arado had 27 excellent digs and 24 excellent receptions. Prado finished with a triple-double of 11 points, 22 excellent receptions, and 20 excellent digs.
The High Speed Hitters ended its semis campaign with a 2-2 record. This means that Creamline (3-0) has now officially entered the finals.
PLDT will await the outcome of KingWhale’s remaining games.
KingWhale will face the league-leading Creamline on Friday at 4:00 PM.