PVL: PLDT coach Rald Ricafort makes sure he is always heard
PVL ALL-FILIPINO

PVL: Using numbers as guide, Ricafort makes sure he is always heard

PLDT High Speed Hitters in the PVL All-Filipino Conference

PLDT High Speed Hitters in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. –PVL PHOTO

ANTIPOLO CITY—Amid the loud crowd during PLDT’s games in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL), there’s a distinctive sound that can be heard if you are around the High Speed Hitters: coach Rald Ricafort calling the shots from the sidelines.

“I am vocal during the game because what I remind the players during viewing serve as cues in-game so they can remember what we talked about,” Ricafort told the Inquirer in Filipino.

Ricafort has led PLDT to a strong 5-1 (win-loss) start in the All-Filipino Conference, with the last three coming consecutively—including a five-set marathon match against Choco Mucho—since being swept by Petro Gazz.

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“Our loss to Petro Gazz was heavy. It was kind of an eye-opener for us,” Ricafort said. “[When the players] are in their A-game, … they are very capable and the difference is not even about the skills anymore.

“It’s about how they will carry the pressure and themselves during the game itself because even if we are okay during practices, when it comes to games, there are a lot of other factors.”

PLDT’s most recent triumph, a straight-sets 25-9, 25-13, 25-21 victory over Farm Fresh on Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo City, allowed the High Speed Hitters to sit beside defending champion Creamline (5-1) at the top.

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“Whenever I talk to them [from the sidelines] it serves as a reminder and confidence boost, according to them,” Ricafort added.

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And it has obviously been working for his crew that includes consistent prolific scorer Savi Davison, clever playmaker Kim Fajardo and middle blocker Majoy Baron, who just produced her best outing in PLDT uniform with 11 points on seven attacks, two blocks and two aces.

Being a tactician who relies heavily on numbers, Ricafort can usually be seen holding a tablet while patrolling the sidelines.

The device comes in handy when he wants to show his players what adjustments they need based on real-time statistics and allows them to have a better understanding of their opponent’s strategy and how they are executing it.

“This is where I see all of the flow of the game; every endpoint can be seen so it serves as my basis on the rotation, the opponents’ scoring,” he said. “So that I don’t get emotional; so I don’t just cue in a substitution out of place just because I am irritated or call a timeout just because I am angry.”

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With every aspect of the game literally within his reach, it helps him show the High Speed Hitters what he wants them to watch out for.

TAGS: PLDT, PVL, Rald Ricafort

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