PLDT entered the 2022 Premier Volleyball League semifinals after beating the short-handed Cignal, 25-19, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22 at the Filoil EcoOil Centre on Saturday.
But the High Speed Hitters had to overcome a gutsy eight-man HD Spikers which missed the services of Rachel Daquis, Jerrili Malabanan, Rose Doria, Ayel Estrañero, Glaudine Troncoso, and Ces Molina (right ankle sprain).
Leading the charge for PLDT were Mika Reyes and Fiola Ceballos. The former delivered a team-high 14 points on 12 attacks and two blocks while the latter had 13 points and 10 excellent receptions.
“Sa amin yun naman ang ano, ang goal namin. Every conference kailangan nagii-step up kami so this time nakuha namin yung goal namin pero syempre ‘di pa tapos ang laban, naguumpisa pa lang,” said High Speed Hitters head coach George Pascua.
“Sabi ko sa kanila every game kumbaga yung best na maibibigay lagi, every game kailangan ibigay mo. No regrets,” he added.
In the final moments of the fourth set, Gel Cayuna committed a service error before the squad failed to get the ball over after a loaded service coming from Jules Samonte.
The consecutive errors coming from Cignal placed PLDT ahead, 24-22, before Ceballos nailed the game-winning hit.
Jules Samonte had nine points while Chin Basas and Dell Palomata added eight and seven points, respectively, for the High Speed Hitters.
Team captain Rhea Dimaculangan dished out 18 excellent sets to go along with three points while Kath Arado and Nieza Viray collected 25 and 10 digs, respectively.
On the other hand, Kla Abriam made the most of her extended minutes, scoring a game-high 15 points in the loss while Angeli Araneta had 14 points and 20 excellent digs.
PLDT tied Cignal in the standings with identical 4-2 slates but the High Speed Hitters (12) will run away with the second seed after edging the HD Spikers (11) in total points.