PLDT strengthened its semis chances after blanking the also-ran Cignal, 25-23, 25-23, 25-14, in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at the Filoil EcoOil Centre, Saturday night.
Jovy Prado led the High Speed Hitters with 14 points on 11 attacks and three blocks. Mean Mendrez chipped in 13 markers in the team’s fifth victory in seven games.
PLDT took a tight 25-23 opening set before fighting back late in the second frame. It unleashed a 7-2 blitz that allowed them to gain a 24-23 advantage. Rose Doria saved a point for the HD Spikers, before Michelle Morente nailed an off the block hit en route to a 2-0 lead.
A set away from securing the important sweep, PLDT raced to an 18-4 lead in the third frame en route to a 25-14. That completed their bounce back from a straight-set loss against the league-leading Creamline last Tuesday.
“Yung naging lesson lang nung Creamline nga, yun naman yung pinoint out ko sa kanila na yun nga, paano kami mag-re-react after nung talo? Tapos kung ano yung magiging adjustments based sa ginawa ng Creamline sa amin,” said High Speed Hitters head coach Rald Ricafort.
Morente had another all-around performance for PLDT with 10 points, 12 excellent digs, and five excellent receptions.
Rhea Dimaculangan tossed 19 excellent sets. Kath Arado collected 25 excellent digs and 13 excellent receptions in an hour and 56 minutes of action.
“Although yun nga, medyo slow start kami lagi sa early sets. So yun pa yung medyo i-wo-work on namin. Pero happy kami na maganda naman yung turn out,” added Ricafort.
The High Speed Hitters are on the cusp of their second semis appearance in the PVL. However, they must win their final game against Choco Mucho to secure their spot and officially eliminate Chery Tiggo.
On the other hand, Rose Doria was the lone double-digit scorer for the 2-5 HD Spikers with 11 points on eight attacks, two blocks, and an ace. Rachel Daquis, who suffered from cramps late in the third, finished with nine markers laced with five excellent receptions.
PLDT will go up against Choco Mucho on Thursday, 4:00 PM at the Philsports Arena. Meanwhile, Cignal will take on Army-Black Mamba later that day at 6:30 PM.