PVL: Erika Raagas shines in Akari breakthrough win
MANILA, Philippines—Erika Raagas is grateful to import Prisilla Rivera for lifting up their spirits in Akari’s first Premier Volleyball League stint in the Reinforced Conference.
The three-time Olympian from the Dominican Republic unleashed 25 points to deliver Akari’s first franchise win at the expense of UAI-Army, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22, on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
Raagas, who conspired with Janine Marciano to backstop their import, said Rivera is really a good leader for their young squad.
“She is so good. I say it so many times, her energy is contagious, even her mindset. It’s like having a coach inside the court. Being with you and telling you what to do. I really appreciate that she’s with us this season,” said Raagas, who scored nine points against the Lady Troopers.
That’s why the former Ateneo Blue Eagle is determined to deliver, too.
“I just really wanna contribute to the team in any way that I can and take up the role that coach is asking us. We also have a healthy competition inside the team,” said Raagas, who made a 16-point debut last week in their four-set loss to Cignal.
Akari coach Jorge Souza de Brito said his wing spikers show a lot of potential, but Raagas stands out in the opposite spiker position.
“We really prepared to kill all the balls and my team’s opposite (spiker) has a very special work. They are ready to make points. And she’s doing well… She’s there because right now she’s doing good, better than others,” said the Brazilian coach.
When asked about her connection with college rival-turned-teammate Michelle Cobb, Raagas said they are still working on it. But so far, so good.
“We’re really working on it. As coach said, our role is to attack and we don’t really receive. We always have to be ready for attacks and digs. It’s not yet our best. The connection isn’t the best yet but we’re working on it. We’re slowly improving it,” she said.
Akari will be tested against unbeaten Chery Tiggo (2-0) on Thursday.
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