Games today (Tuesday)3 p.m. – Creamline vs Petro Gazz6 p.m. – Army vs Bali Pure
Ilocos Norte—Sta. Lucia weathered PLDT Home Fibr’s spirited rally in the last two sets and pounded out a 25-18, 25-19, 25-21 victory as the Lady Realtors got back into the thick of things in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center here yesterday.
Mika Reyes bounced back from a measly three-hit showing in the team’s four-set setback to Creamline in the pro league inaugurals last Saturday, coming away with nine attack points, a block and an ace for an 11-point production that helped anchor the Lady Realtors’ straight-set victory.
Sta. Lucia could’ve made it a lot quicker but heavy downpour caused another 40-minute delay in the match following a long suspension of the Petro Gazz-Army clash that took five hours and six minutes to finish Sunday.
Down by a set and 15-20 behind in the second frame, the Power Hitters strung up three straight hits behind Jorelle Singh and Joy Soyud to threaten but the Lady Realtors came out of a timely huddle an organized lot with Dell Palomata stepping up with a push and a quick hit.
A couple of PLDT miscues and a Jonah Sabete power hit put Sta. Lucia a set away from recovering from a Creamline loss and back in the hunt in the short, cutthroat single round elims among 10 teams of varying strengths and characters.
But it didn’t come easy as the Power Hitters kept the game close in the third until Palomata and Sabete combined in an 8-2 run to pull away at 19-11 with the latter capping the big run with another power blast that sent libero Alyssa Eroa rolling over in impact.
Like in the second set, however, the Power Hitters refused to give up as Singh fired back-to-back hits to spike five unanswered points that put PLDT within, 21-22. But as in the previous frame, the Lady Realtors uncorked a strong finishing kick aided by Isa Molde’s mishit.
MJ Philips then produced a kill block against May Guillema and veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas finished off the Power Hitters, who also dropped a straight-set loss to the Chery Tiggo Crossovers Saturday, with a down-the-line hit.
Meanwhile, Creamline and Petro Gazz face off today (Tuesday) in a duel of fancied teams although the star-studded Cool Smashers are expected to settle down after turning back Sta. Lucia, 25-18, 25-21, 25-27, 25-18, in one of the two matches that kicked off the country's first pro volley league.
Games are telecast live on One Sports (Free to Air), and One Sports+ (Pay TV) with both channels available for linear streaming on Cignal Play and on gigafest.smart and www.pvl.ph.
The Angels likewise needed an extra set to repulse the Black Mamba Army Lady Troopers, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, in a long delayed match Sunday but their new stars are still trying to fit into the system, including outside hitters Gretchel Soltones and Myla Pablo and opposite hitter Ces Molina.
The troika actually combined for 49 hits but Petro Gazz fans believe they still got more stuff to show as the Angels try to build confidence and play with more cohesion in their next few games.
Gametime is at 3 p.m. with the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Michele Gumabao and Jema Galanza bracing for a clash of firepower against Soltones, Pablo and Molina in a match that will also put into focus each team’s net defense and floor coverage.
Army, on the other hand, seeks to rebound from the setback as it takes on a debuting Bali Pure at 6 p.m.
Veterans Jovy Gonzaga, Joanne Bunag and Royse Tubino will still anchor the Lady Troopers’ offensive sock while the Water Defenders will pin their hopes on skipper Alina Bicar, power hitter Grazielle Bombita, Shirley Salamagos, Satriani Espiritu and Bernadette Flora.
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