PVL: On her record night, Prisilla Rivera relishes crucial victory more
MANILA, Philippines — Prisilla Rivera kept spiking, unloading strong serves, and defending the floor to keep the back-against-the-wall Akari in semifinals contention in its first Premier Volleyball League season in the Reinforced Conference.
And as she played her heart out for the Power Chargers, the Dominican spiker delivered the best scoring performance in PVL history with a record-setting 44 points to outlast Odina Aliyeva and the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in five sets, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 21-25, 15-12, on Thursday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Rivera, who was nearly unstoppable with a 39-of-79 attacking clip and had four aces and a block, broke the most points in a PVL game set by former Banko-Perlas import Kia Bright, who scored 41 points in a five-set defeat to PayMaya in a do-or-die semifinal match last July 6, 2018.
But on her historic night, the only thing that mattered for Rivera was their much-needed win to end a three-game skid and stay in the semis hunt with an improved 2-4 record.
“Of course, I’m happy because of our winning and scoring points. I can have two points or even make 50 or more but the most important is we need the win,” said the three-time Olympian, whose answer in Spanish was translated by coach Jorge Souza de Brito.
The Brazilian coach said the three-time Olympian is the foreign player who is perfect to lead their young team as Rivera is “almost a coach” inside the court with her skills, leadership, and stability regardless of the situation.
“Akari brought her to shine here, to make our league be stronger and so congrats to her, congrats to the teammates, who have been helping her. But she’s been amazing. She’s a three-time Olympian. Not because of this, but because every training she comes to prove herself,” said de Brito.
LOOK: Prisilla Rivera of the Akari Power Chargers holds up a paper with number "44." Rivera set a new PVL scoring record tonight with 44 points off 39 attacks, four aces, and a block. | 📷: @LanceAgcaoilINQ pic.twitter.com/XAjnklKhYD
— INQUIRER Sports (@INQUIRERSports) November 3, 2022
Rivera may not be fluent in English but her dedication has set a great example for her younger teammates.
Janine Marciano, the Power Chargers’ top local scorer, said their import has been a great leader to them.
“Thankful because Prisilla is in our team and as you can see, she’s really a good leader in and outside the court,” said Marciano, who helped Rivera in fending off Choco Mucho. “Her energy really boosts every one of us, the locals, to really step up and help her. We’re happy that we have an Olympian.”
After Rivera’s historic night, De Brito said his team has no plans of backing down in their last two matches, where they continue to fight for survival.
Expect the Akari import to continue giving the other teams a run for their money.
“You learn the competition. We always try to see how to get to the top. For the next two matches, we’ll have a chance also to stay in the Top 4,” de Brito said. “The mindset now is let’s do our best because we know we can beat them, all of them if you play consistently… Even if you don’t win, they’re gonna have a hard time with us.”
Akari battles a skidding PLDT next Thursday at the same venue before wrapping up its elimination round against F2 Logistics on Nov.15 at Ynares Center in Antipolo.