With unforgiving format, PVL teams at lower end of standings find reason to play on | Inquirer Sports

With unforgiving format, PVL teams at lower end of standings find reason to play on

/ 05:25 AM July 16, 2023

Foton Tornadoes' Mary Rhose Dapol PVL

Foton Tornadoes’ Mary Rhose Dapol. –PVL PHOTO

At the bottom end of the standings of the Premier Volleyball League, teams clashed furiously, refusing to fall out of contention without a fight.

And then there was Akari, which scraped and clawed even as it headed for the exit before the first serve.


The Invitational Conference was always going to be a tough one, not just for the top teams who would slug it out for the four semifinal spots, but also for the teams that opened the tournament with losses.


With a tough format that would offer semifinal seats to only two squads in each group after a single round robin, there was always going to be that chance that those squads at the lower rungs of each bracket would end up playing for nothing at the tailend of their schedule.

But life goes on for the eliminated squads.

“The mindset is continue going on,” said Mary Rhose Dapol, an NCAA MVP out of Perpetual Help who had a career-high 28 points to lead Foton to an 18-25, 23-25, 31-29, 25-20, 18-16 victory over new squad Farm Fresh on Saturday at PhilSports Arena.

Nothing for granted

“Keep focusing on the games, give your 100 percent to the team and the coaches and help in any way you can,” she added.

Dapol and Shaya Adorador dug deep as Foton erased a two-set deficit to frustrate Farm Fresh and relegate their foes to 13th place in the tournament.

The Tornadoes are taking nothing for granted despite having nothing to play for other than a classification match, which isn’t even on their minds yet.


“We still have a game to play on Tuesday so we aren’t thinking about the classification game yet,” said Foton coach Brian Esquibel. “We’ll take two days rest and return to practice on Monday and still focus on the Tuesday game so we can perform [well] and the players can do what they need to do inside the court.”

And if there are doubts to how much fire Foton will muster in that Tuesday showdown with F2 Logistics, those were erased later Saturday when Akari, already out of contention even before breaking a s sweat, fought with grit against Creamline before losing, 25-19, 24-26, 26-24, 25-19.

The Chargers were knocked out of the semifinal race earlier in the day when Fiola Ceballos stepped up to lead the short-handed PLDT past Gerflor, 25-18, 25-17, 26-24, to keep its own semifinal hopes alive.

The PLDT win nullified whatever hopes Akari had of a semifinal run and Creamline doubled down on that, deflating the fight-filled Chargers in the fourth set by breaking out of a deadlock at 16.

But Faith Nisperos, the promising Akari rookie, also said the fight goes on for the Chargers.

“Moving forward, we’re still gonna work hard doing the things we know are effective, like studying ourselves … and our opponents,” said Nisperos, who had 18 points. “[Our] effort [will not only be] 100 percent but if we could do more than what we’re expected then I think we could move forward.”

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Gerflor was also knocked out of contention but is looking forward to a classification duel with Akari.

TAGS: Akari, Foton, PVL

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