PVL: Akari clinches first franchise win with Prisilla Rivera leading the way
MANILA, Philippines — Prisilla Rivera unleashed 25 points to lift Akari to its first franchise victory in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, taking down United Auctioneers Inc.(UAI)-Army, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22, on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
The three-time Olympian from Dominican Republic scored all her points from spikes, nailing 25-of-48 in attacking, and also delivered a tremendous defensive effort with 11 digs and seven excellent receptions as the newest PVL team registered its first win after two games.
Rivera was nearly unstoppable but the other Power Chargers also stepped up with Janine Marciano chipping in 10 points and 15 receptions. Erika Raagas had nine points, while middle blocker Ezra Madrigal added seven, including three blocks.
Team captain Michelle Cobb paced Akari with 20 excellent sets and nailed a block to finish with two points, while libero Dani Ravena protected the floor with 15 digs and eight receptions.
Akari coach Jorge Souza de Brito also earned his first win in the PVL as his team improved to 1-1, bouncing back from a four-set loss to Cignal last week in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
“The first win is always a good win. Of course, we’re happy because of this, we’ve been working all this week. We’re working hard to try to find our first victory and the guys really deserve this. I’m really proud of them and we’ll be ready for the next,” said the Brazilian coach, who also handles the Philippine women’s volleyball team.
De Brito stressed they still have a lot of work to do after giving up 25 errors but he remained patient charging every game to experience as they take on Chery Tiggo on Thursday next week.
“We are the latest team and we’re still missing more matches. So every time we come here inside and face tough teams like Army, Cignal, it will only add to our experience inside the court,” he said. “Every time we play, we’re going to play better and I’m sure of this. It’s not only training, you have to play so every time you come inside to play, I’m sure they will play better. That’s the difference between the first and second games.”
Akari displayed grace under pressure in the last two sets, especially in the second set where it blew a five-point lead, 21-16, with Laura Condotta sparking Army’s late rally and scoring three straight kills to trim the deficit to two, 22-20.
Marciano stopped the bleeding but Condotta kept Army within striking distance, 23-21. Rivera pushed the Power Chargers at set point, 24-21 but Jovelyn Gonzaga saved a point for Army before Madrigal’s drop ended the set to take a 2-0 advantage.
The Lady Troopers also made a last-ditch effort in the third trimming the Power Chargers’ 23-19 lead into two, 23-21, after back-to-back hits from Nene Bautista and Condotta. Rivera drilled a massive back-row kill to reach match point, 24-21, before Madrigal committed a service error but Lycha Ebon closed out the game with a cross-court attack.
Condotta was the lone bright spot for UAI-Army with 13 points and 12 digs only to remain winless in two games. Gonzaga and Jeanette Villareal added eight and seven markers, respectively.
Army faces fellow winless team, F2 Logistics (0-2), on Tuesday next week.
PVL Reinforced Conference: Akari
Akari coach Jorge Souza de Brito and Erika Raagas cherish the franchise’s first Premier Vollleyball League victory after trouncing Army.
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Saturday, October 15, 2022
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