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Saturday, April 13, 2024

PLDT clips Akari in 3 sets, regains share of PVL lead

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SCORING heavily on quick plays and pouncing on its opponent’s miscues, PLDT swiftly dispatched Akari, 25-17, 25-20, 25-19, at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City Tuesday to reclaim its position alongside idle Creamlin atop the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino standings.

Dell Palomata and Majoy Baron stood at the frontfront of the High Speed Hitters’ relentless offensive assault at the net, their adept execution of quick set plays proving instrumental in thwarting the Chargers, particularly during the pivotal stretch of the second frame.

The one-hour, 27-minute victory was PLDT’s fourth straight and sixth overall against a loss as it rejoined Creamline in the lead heading to the crucial stretch of the single round preliminaries leading to the highly sought-after semifinal positions.

Baron showcased her consistent performance, tallying 13 points, including two blocks and three aces, as she earned the Best Player of the Game honors for the second straight time following an 11-point effort against the Farm Fresh Foxies before the break.

Reflecting on their continued success, spiked by their tough five-set win over the previously unbeaten Choco Mucho Flying Titans last March 19, Baron emphasized the team’s commitment to their system and the relentless dedication they put up in their daily training sessions.

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“We trust the system, putting in a lot of hard work in our daily training while enjoying the process,” said Baron.

Savi Davison settled for an 11-point showing and finished with 11 excellent receptions, while Erika Santos added nine points, and Palomata and Fiola Ceballos added seven markers apiece.

Playmaker Kim Fajardo came through with 14 excellent sets and provided additional firepower with eight points.

“Happy na nag-perform kami, malakas ang Akari. Sadyang yung complacency ang problema namin kung sakali. Pero okay lang kahit ganun basta nakuha namin,” said PLDT coach Rald Ricafort, whose wards also netted 19 points off the Chargers’ unforced errors. “Medyo may b’welo na kami going to the latter part of the tournament.”

Palomata and Santos anchored the team’s fightback from 11-13 down in the second set with the former accounting for three points in PLDT’s big 6-1 roll that shattered the 16-all count, all on quick attacks.

Santos, on the other hand, delivered back-to-back hits before Baron wrapped it up, also on a quick play.

Akari tried to stall PLDT in the third frame, briefly seizing a 7-5 advantage on a Dindin Manabat’s down-the-line power blast. But Baron hammered in her own kill and Manabat hit a wide attack to tie the count.

PLDT notched a third straight point off a kill block and the High Speed Hitters came out of the first technical timeout in sync, propelled by a series of well-executed plays from Davison, Palomata and Baron.

The six-point blast gave the High Speed Hitters an 11-7 lead and though the Chargers broke the spell on a Ceballos’ service fault, the former quickly regained their bearing, scoring three straight points to stay in control all the way to the finish.

The setback dropped Akari to 2-5, further dimming its prospects in the race for the fourth and last spot in the semifinals.

Middle Ced Domingo failed to suit up for Akari due to a minor knee injury, and her absence practically disrupted the Chargers’ usual rotations and causing some degree of uncertainty among the players.

Manabat scored nine points while Grethcel Soltones and Erika Raagas finished with eight markers each and Fifi Sharma, Roselle Baliton and Joy Soyud combined for 14 points for the Chargers, who scored 14 points off the High Speed Hitters’ miscues. Caption

The PLDT High Speed Hitters huddle up after scoring a point.

Games Thursday
4 p.m. – Farm Fresh vs Cignal
6 p.m. – Nxled vs Strong Group

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