MANILA, Philippines – The PLDT High Speed Hitters tallied its first win in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference with a hard-fought straight-setter over the BaliPure Water Defenders, 25-20, 26-24, 25-22, at the Paco Arena on Wednesday, March 23.
With the win, PLDT clinched the third seed of Pool B with a 1-2 record. Meanwhile, BaliPure settled for the fourth seed, still winless at 0-3.
New recruit Mika Reyes had her best outing yet with the Hitters, and led the team with 11 points off 7 attacks, 3 blocks, and an ace. Dell Palomata and Chin Basas each had 8 markers in the win, while Jules Samonte and Fiola Ceballos added 7 points apiece off the bench.
Despite the clean sweep by the Hitters, the Water Defenders actually fought tooth-and-nail, and seized the lead multiple times throughout the game, but ultimately failed to also nab the crucial breaks of the contest.
They last pulled ahead in the deciding set, 20-19, off a 6-1 run capped by a Jho Maraguinot hit, before a pair of Heather Guino-o aces sparked a 5-1 PLDT fightback for the win.
“It was personally a hassle to go down in consecutive games, and we felt down,” said Reyes in a mix of English and Filipino after the game.
“But I think it’s a good thing that this happened because we realized that we still have a lot to adjust and change, especially with our team chemistry.”
Janine Marciano paced the loss with a game-high 13 points, while Maraguinot chipped in 10 markers, 12 excellent digs, and 6 excellent receptions.
As the third seed, PLDT will face the twice-to-beat second seed of Pool A, which will either be the F2 Cargo Movers or the Choco Mucho Flying Titans.
Meanwhile, BaliPure will shoot for an upset against the yet-undefeated Cignal HD Spikers, also owners of a twice-to-beat perk as the first seed. – Rappler.com