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PVL: PLDT sweeps Akari, spoils Nisperos debut

PLDT spoiled Faith Nisperos’ debut by sweeping Akari 25-15, 25-19, 25-22 to start its 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference campaign on a high note on Saturday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre.

Dell Palomata showcased her efficiency for the High Speed Hitters, scoring 10 attacks out of 20 attempts, along with three blocks and an ace. She finished with a game-high 14 points after an hour and 31 minutes of action.

Jovie Prado contributed 13 points and nine excellent digs, while Michelle Morente had 11 markers, including three service aces, in the victory.

“Syempre I’m very happy na nasimulan namin nang maganda at nanalo. Pero may mga aayusin pa, mabibigay pa rin yung mga next games namin so paghahandaan namin this VNL week,” said PLDT head coach Rald Ricafort.

The High Speed Hitters quickly took an eight-point advantage, 13-5, in the opening set with a crosscourt hit from Dindin Santiago-Manabat. They maintained their lead, even going up by as much as 10 points, to secure a 25-15 win.

Although the Chargers narrowed the gap in the next two sets, it wasn’t enough as the High Speed Hitters completed the sweep to secure their first win in Pool A.

Debutant Royse Tubino contributed eight points, and Jessey De Leon also added eight while filling in for star middle blocker Mika Reyes, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury.

“Although hindi kami naka-recruit ng mga UAAP players, very important yung pagkuha namin kay Royse [Tubino] kasi nafi-fill in niya yung mga bagay na kailangan namin,” added Ricafort.

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On the other hand, Santiago-Manabat and Trisha Genesis led Akari with 10 and nine markers, respectively. Meanwhile, rookie Faith Nisperos registered five points in her first PVL game.

PLDT will face defending champion Creamline next on July 13 at 4:00 PM. On the other hand, Akari will take on Chery Tiggo on July 11 at 4:00 PM. Both matches will be at the Philsports Arena.

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