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PVL: Nisperos delivers as Akari nails first win at Gerflor’s expense


Akari withstood Gerflor in a five-set marathon to snag its first win in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference, 20-25, 25-22, 25-27, 27-25, 15-12, on Tuesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Faith Nisperos paced the chargers anew in their breakthrough victory with 18 points, 14 digs, and six receptions, while Dindin Santiago-Manabat chipped in 17 points on 14 attacks as the Chargers snapped their three-game skid to improve their card to 1-3.

It’s never easy when you get three losses in the past, there’s a lot of feelings coming inside. But we did the job… In our talks, it’s supposed to be not in five sets. But my request for them today, no matter if we play good or bad, we have to leave the court with a win,” said Akari head coach Jorge Souza De Brito.

Gerflor came within a point after a tip from Ethan Arce, 11-12, in the fifth set but Akari then benefited from three straight errors from Alyssa Bertolano and Justine Dorog en route to their first conference victory, 15-12. Bertolano committed a slim service error and a double touch, while Dorog’s cross-court hit went out.

All things looked like a Chargers win in the fourth set after Nisperos connected on an off-the-block hit, 22-17, but the Defenders went on a 7-2 run capped off by a Dorog cross-court attack to knot the set at 24-all.

Janine Marciano gave a one-point edge to Akari before Gerflor answered back with three straight points highlighted by an Ivy Perez block on Marciano to complete the fourth-set comeback.

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Both teams had error-plagued outings to end their preliminary campaigns, with the Chargers committing 39 errors while the Defenders gave up 35 miscues.

Bertolano led the Defenders with 14 points built on 11 attacks along with 19 excellent receptions while middle blocker Ranya Musa pitched in 13 markers in their fourth consecutive loss in as many outings.

Gerflor will most likely battle Foton for 11th-12th place in the classification phase beginning on Thursday, while Akari will face the fourth seed of Pool A for 9th-10th place. (Ernest Martin Tuazon)

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