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PVL: Palomata powers PLDT past Army for solo second


PLDT surged to the second spot after beating Army-Black Mamba, 17-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-18 for its second consecutive win in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay.

Jules Samonte sustained her fine form for the High Speed Hitters, putting up a game-high 17 points on 14 attacks, two aces, and a block to go along with 20 excellent digs to lead her side to a 3-1 standing — good for solo second.

“Yung composure kasi, masyado kaming nag-madali e. Nawala ng konti sa composure then after nung set na yun, nung second set bumalik sila. Yun talaga yung hinahanap namin, yung synchronization nung galaw,” said PLDT head coach George Pascua.

The High Speed Hitters established an early 11-4 advantage in the fourth frame but the Jem Gutierrez-led Lady Troopers bounced back with an 8-2 rally to trim the lead to just one.

It was a back and forth from there before Chin Basas and Fiola Ceballos delivered two consecutive hits to spark a 5-1 run to put PLDT ahead, 20-15, after the second technical timeout.

The High Speed Hitters maintained their distance, with consecutive errors coming Anne Esguerra and Gutierrez wrapping up the match.

“Nung previous tournament namin yung system hindi pa namin makuha. So eto, yung chemistry nakita na namin talaga kung sino yung starting six na pwedeng pangdiinan, yung talagang panglaban yung character nila as individual and as a team,” added Pascua.

It was a total team effort for PLDT with Fiola Ceballos finishing with 13 points and 16 receptions while Dell Palomata and Chin Basas had 12 and 11, respectively.

#ReadMore  PVL: Army-Black Mamba quickly dispatches Chery Tiggo, move on verge of semis

Rhea Dimaculangan dished out 20 excellent sets to go along with four points while Kath Arado’s floor defense produced 16 receptions and 10 digs. Mika Reyes had nine points including three kill blocks.

Army took the opener with not much resistance from PLDT but the latter went berserk in the second frame, surging to an 18-4 advantage to pull away from the Lady Troopers. Army then fought back, trimming the lead to a 11 points before PLDT scored three consecutive to equalize the game at 1-all.

The Lady Troopers threatened to comeback in the third with Audrey Paran pulling her side to within four, 20-24, before Jules Samonte bagged the set for the 2-1 advantage.

Jovelyn Gonzaga led Army with 11 points and 20 excellent digs while Joanne Bunag had 10 points as the Lady Troopers dropped to 2-2 in the standings.

PLDT will look to extend its winning streak to three games against Choco Mucho on Thursday at 2:30 PM while Army will face Chery Tiggo on Tuesday at 2:30 PM. Both games will be played at the FilOil Ecooil Centre.

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