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PVL: PLDT stays alive in Final race, dominates Bac Ninh


PLDT secured its second straight win with a sweep of foreign guest squad Kinh Bắc-Bắc Ninh via a straight-set win in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference, 25-23, 25-14, 25-23, on Monday evening at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

After their sweep of F2 Logistics, the High Speed Hitters improved to a 2-2 record, while Bắc Ninh remained winless in two outings.

Royse Tubino led PLDT’s offense with 12 points, scoring 11 on attacks and one on a block, while Fiola Ceballos and Mich Morente contributed 11 points each. The Tubino-Ceballos-Morente trio combined for 34 of the High Speed Hitters’ 75 attack points.

Kath Arado anchored PLDT’s defense with 21 digs and 16 receptions, while Rhea Dimaculangan directed their offense with 23 excellent sets.

“Happy sa game, nagawa naman yung pinagplanuhan, tapos happy rin doon sa mga nagstep up na players off the bench,” said High Speed Hitters head coach Rald Ricafort.

Trailing by five points at 19-24, Bắc Ninh made a comeback attempt, erasing four match points and bringing the score to 23-24 with two attack errors and an ace and backrow hit from #17 Kinh.

However, Rachel Austero became the High Speed Hitters’ much-needed spark plug, scoring four straight points to keep their finals bid alive and securing a 25-23 victory.

PLDT broke a late 20-all tie in the first set with a combined offensive effort from Ceballos, Santos, and Palomata, while also benefiting from two attack errors by Kinh Bắc, winning the set 25-23.

The High Speed Hitters started the second set with an 8-2 run, taking a dominant eight-point lead over Bắc Ninh, with half of those points coming from their main weapons, Dimaculangan and Ceballos, leading 13-5.

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In the losing effort, Huong Nguyen led the Vietnam-based squad with 14 points, all from attacks, while Xuan Le and Thoan Dang contributed 12 points and 23 excellent digs, respectively.

Kinh Bắc will look to hand Creamline its first loss when they meet tomorrow, while PLDT aims to sustain their form and winning streak against streaking Kurashiki on Thursday. (Ernest Martin Tuazon)

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