PVL: PLDT finally back on track, boots out Akari from semis race
MANILA, Philippines — Elena Samoilenko joined hands with middle blockers Mika Reyes and Dell Palomata as PLDT vented its ire on Akari, 25-11, 25-21, 25-19 to end a four-game skid and keep its semifinal chances alive in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
A day after their protest of the controversial four-set loss to Petro Gazz was denied, the High Speed Hitters showed they have moved on and eliminated the Power Chargers from Final Four contention.
Samoilenko brought back the winning ways of PLDT with 20 points built on 16 attacks, three blocks, and an ace to go with eight excellent receptions, beating the Prisilla Rivera-led Akari in one hour and 26 minutes.
PLDT coach George Pascua was happy that his wards took their previous controversial defeat in stride as Reyes nailed 15 points off 10 attacks, three aces, and two blocks, while Palomata added 11 markers to improve their record to 2-4.
“For me, we took that as a challenge because there is no perfect officiating. We just appealed the previous result for the good of the tournament. Anyway, it’s already done so we just moved on,” said Pascua. “We’re just glad that we’re able to regain our confidence and lift our morales up with this win.”
Samoilenko and the High Speed Hitters annihilated the Power Chargers right from the get-go with an 11-1 start in the first set, where they led as many as 16, 24-8, that set the pace for their first win since their five-set triumph over Army in the opening day last October 8.
“We worked on our connection during training because of our previous games. We had a hard time connecting because we don’t have a good reception. I’m glad they put up a collective effort,” said Pascua, who is still in a must-win situation in their last two games against Cignal and Chery Tiggo next week.
Rivera, who tallied a record-setting 44 points, was the lone bright spot for Akari with a game-high 23 points, as Lycha Ebon was the next best scorer from their team with just five markers.
The Power Chargers bombed out of semis contention with a 2-5 record. They will play their final game of the season against the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers on Tuesday next week at the Big Dome.
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