PLDT head coach Rald Ricafort sees a bright future ahead for the High Speed Hitters after pushing Petro Gazz to the edge of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals last Thursday.
The team bowed out of the finals race after absorbing a 17-25, 23-25, 15-25 loss to the Angels in Game Three at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“Credit is also due to Petro. I told my team that the culture and system built by Petro are now in their second year together.
“It’s almost the same, they’re already familiar with each other,” said Ricafort, who led Petro Gazz to the Reinforced Conference crown last December before joining PLDT.
Coming off a subpar campaign in the import-laden conference, the High Speed Hitters bounced back in the All-Filipino Conference at the start of the year and went on a tear in the elimination round, posting a 6-2 win-loss slate, which was good for third place.
PLDT managed to take down the likes of Petro Gazz, Chery Tiggo, Cignal, Choco Mucho, Akari, and Army-Black Mamba while also losing to fellow semifinalist F2 Logistics in five sets.
“So, I just told PLDT that we have a relatively bright future ahead of us because I just started with them and we have pushed many teams including this game, which even went to game three. Maybe it’s not for us today, so let’s just push for what we can in the battle for third,” added Ricafort.
Despite an impressive showing in this conference, Ricafort reminded the High Speed Hitters that the job is still not done as they are set to take on F2 Logistics in the battle for bronze.
“At the start, it wasn’t that positive because we came from a loss but they understood. Our realistic goal was to make it to the semis and we were able to push that. We even went to game three today,” said the UP men’s volleyball head coach.
“But even though there is some regret, I reminded them that the job is to finish this properly so it’s back to work tomorrow.”