With Gretchel Soltones back in the fold, the PLDT Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters got their groove going. They belted the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors with a straight-set whipping, 25-19, 25-19, 25-13, to barge into the winner’s column in the 2019 PSL Invitational Cup, Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Soltones was feeling under the weather during PLDT’s conference-debut that resulted in a loss to Cignal. This game, though, finished with 12 points. She also dispersed eight attacks, three service aces, and a kill block, while collecting eight excellent receptions.
“Malaking bagay si Grethcel offensively and defensively,” said PLDT head coach Roger Gorayeb. “Malaking bagay kasi noong nakaraan, wala na akong pamalit.”
Soltones steered her team in the second set. There, the Power Hitters let loose an 11-1 rally that overturned an 11-13 deficit to a 22-15 spread.
PLDT then sustained their momentum in the third frame as they coasted towards the breakthrough victory.
Complimenting Soltones were Jerrili Malabanan and Jorelle Singh. Malabanan hammered down eight attacks for 12 markers, while Singh dropped three booming aces en route to 11 points.
Gen Casugod chimed in six markers off the bench. PLDT playmaker Jasmine Nabor made her presence felt as well, supplying 18 excellent sets, 11 excellent digs, to go along with four points.
In all, Gorayeb is elated that his wards bounced back from a lethargic outing against Cignal a few days ago.
“Maganda compared sa nakaraan namin talagang sobrang panget ng nilaro namin doon. Masaya naman ako kasi nakabawi kami doon sa dismal performance namin,” the PLDT mentor said.
“Actually, hiniling ko naman sa lahat pati sa attacker at setter, consistency lang. Regardless of anong sitwasyon dapat maging consistent lang sila,” he added.
Pam Lastimosa — who sizzled with 19 points in Sta. Lucia’s opener against Foton — was limited to just eight markers. Amy Amohiro chipped in seven points, while Rachel Austero and Andrea Marzan managed five apiece.
MJ Phillips did not play as she is still recuperating from an injury.
PLDT will try to build from this win when they face the Foton Blue Energy Tornadoes on Monday, September 30, at the FilOil Flying V Centre. On the other hand, Sta. Lucia look to get back on winning track when they square off against the Cignal HD Spikers on Tuesday, October 1, at the Santa Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex.