PLDT clips Cignal in battle for third
PLDT Home Fibr went through the wringer before escaping a game Cignal squad, 25-19, 25-18, 20-25, 20-25, 19-17, to capture the bronze medal in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Tuesday night at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Power Hitters were on the verge of wrapping it up in four sets until Erica Wilson and the HD Spikers sprung back to life to tie things up and forge a deciding fifth set.
But PLDT imports Grace Lazard and Kendra Dahlke came to the rescue as they delivered the killer blows in the crucial stretch of the decider to give the club its first podium finish in this prestigious women’s club tourney.
Dahlke scored 27 points while Lazard pumped in 17 kills, three blocks and two aces for a 22-point performance, including a beautiful backrow attack for match point, 18-17.
She followed that up with the game-winning block on Cignal import Ana Artemeva.
The locals were also instrumental with Aiko Urdas chipping in 14 points and Grethcel Soltones putting up a brilliant all-around effort with 12 points laced with 22 digs.
Setter Jasmine Nabor made 28 excellent sets on top of 16 digs.
Despite getting swept by F2 Logistics in the semifinals, PLDT head coach Roger Gorayeb was happy over their first podium finish in just his second conference calling the shots.
“I’m happy for my players and for the company because this is just our second conference in the PSL. This is good for us as we prepare next conference,” Gorayeb said.
“We came up short in the semifinals. But I think that the title match is not yet for us. I’m still proud on how my players fought this conference.”
PLDT reached match point in the fifth set, 14-12, off Mylene Paat’s service error and Wilson’s attack error. Wilson’s strong attack and Urdas’ crucial attack error prompted Cignal to equalize and drag the game to a deciding set.