PVL: Despite growth, PLDT still needs to fully embrace new system soon–Mika Reyes
MANILA, Philippines — Mika Reyes believes that PLDT has grown in all aspects under new coach Rald Ricafort as they make their second semifinal appearance in the Premier Volleyball League.
But she insists that they need immediately fully adapt to the new system as they face Petro Gazz seeking payback in their best-of-three All-Filipino Conference semis series starting on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
“I think [our team has grown] in all aspects, especially now that our new coaches are applying a new system,” said Reyes in Filipino after scoring 18 points in their 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-16 victory over Choco Mucho to seal the No.3 seed on Thursday.
“We’re still adjusting. And there’s no more time because we’ll be playing in the semis so we have to adapt as soon as possible,” she added.
With only one day of preparation, Reyes said the High Speed Hitters will make the most of their limited time, still promising to give the Angels a good fight.
“Coach told us that [Petro Gazz] wants to get back at us. We have to maximize the day to recover and plan for our game on Saturday. It will be a good fight,” the star middle blocker said.
PLDT coach Rald Ricafort hopes to assert his mastery of his former team Petro Gazz, which they took down in five sets, 21-25, 31-29, 25-21, 21-25, 15-13, in their elimination round match last February 23.
“Since it’s just a few months since we left our former team, we are still familiar with the system and players’ tendencies. Our [current] team has done it in the elims so we will try to maximize [our advantage] again in this coming game,” said the youthful PLDT coach, who jumped ship with assistant coach Arnold Laniog a month after winning the Reinforced title.
Ricafort will try to bring PLDT to its first PVL Finals in his maiden tournament with the franchise with wing spikers Mean Mendrez, Mich Morente, and Jovy Prado leading the way as well as middle blockers Reyes and Dell Palomata, setter Rhea Dimaculangan, and strong Best Libero contender Kath Arado.
“Our previous game [against Petro Gazz] was a good match. We will review it and try to mimic our successful strategy in the elims but we expect them to bounce back,” he said. “They played okay in their pass games despite the tight schedule.”
Petro Gazz will try to make its third straight All-Filipino Conference Finals under new coach Oliver Almadro, who is banking on the same core last year led by MJ Phillips, Remy Palma, Grethcel Soltones, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Jonah Sabete, and Djanel Cheng.