Premier Volleyball League

Akari ends PVL debut campaign with F2 shocker; PLDT downs Cignal to avert ouster

JR Isaga
Akari ends PVL debut campaign with F2 shocker; PLDT downs Cignal to avert ouster

Akari's Olympian import Prisilla Rivera celebrates after scoring a point at the 2022 PVL Reinforced Conference

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Olympian import Prisilla Rivera goes all-out in Akari's debut conference-ending four-set stunner over F2, while PLDT staves off elimination with a win over sister team Cignal

MANILA, Philippines – The Akari Chargers went lights out in their final game of their PVL debut conference with a four-set shocker over the contending F2 Cargo Movers, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24, 25-22, at the Araneta Coliseum on Tuesday, November 15.

Olympian import Prisilla Rivera ended her dominant campaign with a 32-point eruption on 29 attacks and 3 blocks as Akari finished the 2022 Reinforced Conference with a 3-5 record, just below the massive logjam in the middle for semifinals contention.

Fil-Canadian libero Rachel Jorvina continued to prove her worth with a line of 21 excellent digs and 12 excellent receptions, while rookie setter Jaja Maraguinot steered the offense with 19 excellent sets.

Down 19-22 in the crucial fourth set, F2 climbed back within striking distance with a short 3-1 burst, ending with a Rivera attack error that got all net.

Unfazed, the 37-year-old Dominican star bounced right back with a booming backrow kill to force match point, before F2’s longtime import Lindsay Stalzer’s down-the-line hit attempt sailed to the sideline to gift Akari the conference-ending win.

Stalzer and rookie blocker Ivy Lacsina paced the sorry loss with 17 points apiece as the Cargo Movers snapped a three-game winning streak at the worst possible time with just two games left on their schedule.

Meanwhile, in the first game of the doubleheader, the PLDT High Speed Hitters averted elimination with a hard-earned four-set win over sister team Cignal HD Spikers, 25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21.

Super scorer import Elena Samoilenko led the way with a game-high 27 points off 23 attacks and 4 blocks, while twin towers Dell Palomata and Mika Reyes each scored 11 to help PLDT rise to a 3-4 record with no more breathing room for another loss.

Four players breached double-digit scoring in Cignal’s losing cause, led by import Tai Bierria’s 16 points and local star Ces Molina’s 15 in just the latter three sets played.

PLDT will only have a day’s rest before it returns on Thursday, November 17, at the Mall of Asia Arena for a 2:30 pm match with the semis-bound Chery Tiggo Crossovers.

Following that is a blockbuster 5:30 pm main event between sister teams Creamline (6-1) and a Choco Mucho side (3-3) teetering on the edge of playoff qualification.

Meanwhile, Cignal and F2 both aim to regroup with an all-important clash on Saturday, November 19, 5:30 pm, back at Araneta to determine which team rises to an ideal 4-3 record and which one falls to the brink of elimination at 3-4. –

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