MANILA, Philippines – The PayMaya High Flyers kept their semifinal hopes alive after slipping past the BanKo Perlas Spikers in a 5-set thriller, 28-26, 25-16, 25-27, 25-27, 15-12, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Season 2 Reinforced Conference on Wednesday, July 4 at FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Tess Rountree carried the High Flyers with 34 points built on 27 attacks, 5 aces, and two blocks as Grethcel Soltones also delivered with 22 points off 18 attacks and 3 aces.
The do-or-die semifinal game is set on Friday, July 4 at the same venue.
The High Flyers looked headed for a sweep but the Perlas Spikers rallied behind Kia Bright and Jutarat Montripila to force a deciding 5th set.
“Nagpigil ng palo yung import (Rountree) ko nung 4th set. Naging tentative, parang nag-aalangan kung papaluin nang malakas eh. Kaya nga sabi ko sa kanya, ‘hit it as hard as you can, don’t worry about the block,‘” said PayMaya head coach Roger Gorayeb.
(Our import, Rountree, hesitated with her attacks in the 4th set. She became tentative, like she was unsure if she would go hard on attacks. That’s why I told her, ‘hit as hard as you can, don’t worry about the block.)
The High Flyers were already at match point, 24-22, but Montripila spearheaded the Perlas Spikers’ comeback to force a 4th set.
Gaining momentum from the 3rd frame, the Perlas Spikers managed to force a decider behind Montripila’s consecutive attacks before Bright closed it in their favor, 27-25.
The Perlas Spikers looked poised to complete their comeback but the High Flyers managed to hold on before Soltones’ through-the-block attack sealed the win.
Bright, who led the Perlas Spikers in Game 1, topscored with 35 points off 33 attacks and two blocks while Montripila had 23 points, including 21 attacks. – Carla Molina/Rappler.com