MANILA, Philippines – When the High-Speed Hitters and the Angels face off in the Premier Volleyball League All Filipino Conference in San Juan today, PLDT barely takes a breather as it works hard to try to earn a third consecutive victory and a share of the lead against a Petro Gazz team aiming for the same goal but fresh off a four-day break.
With a pair of shutout victories, the two contenders returned to the fray after dropping their respective first games, making their 6:30 p.m. you will run into a momentum collision. The race to the semis is already shaping up to be a wide-open one, so it will also be about passion and tenacity as they attempt to support one another’s push.
After suffering a humiliating five-set loss to F2 Logistics, PLDT bounced back with three-set victories against Army and Chery Tiggo, and Petro Gazz destroyed Choco Mucho and Cignal after losing to Creamline.
Yet, even though it was predicted that the High Speed Hitters would defeat the winless Lady Troopers, they weren’t prepared for their recent three-point victory over the previously unbeaten Crossovers. However, they were able to rely on the consistent production of Mary Anne Mendrez, Jovie Prado, Dell Palomata, Michelle Morente, and Mika Reyes, while veteran playmaker Rhea Dimaculangan outperformed rival Jasmine Nabor by generating 21 great sets, more than triple the combined meager output of the Crossovers.
For the team’s overall effort of 50, which was 20 more than their competitors, Kath Arado and Prado also played sly defense, coming through with 16 and 15 outstanding digs, respectively. Mylene Paat and Buding Duremdes both contributed 16, giving the team a 20-point advantage.
The High-Speed Hitters were ready for another victory at the Filoil Eco Oil Center and a chance to take the lead going into the second half of the single round eliminations of the season-opening conference of the league run by Sports Vision when Arado added 17 top-notch catches and Prado added seven to spark a fantastic all-around effort.
Yet the Angels are also improving, especially with Grethcel Soltones resuming her fiery form after putting up a 14-hit performance against the HD Spikers and getting 11 points against by the Flying Titans.
Aiza Pontillas and Jonah Sabah have been the Angels’ go-to scorers consistently, while Remy Palmas has also stepped up as evidenced by his recent game-high 15-point performance. The team is currently responding well to the plans and play-patterns of coach Oliver Almadro.
After a victory over Akari in the first game, Choco Mucho plays Army at 4 p.m. in an attempt to snap a two-game losing streak behind its tall troika of Kat Tolentino, Bea de Leon, and Maddie Madayag. opener.
But the Lady Troopers are also eager to break their losing streak of three games in a row, despite the fact that coach Randy Fallorina will need to do a lot of inspiring to get the most out of Mary Ann Esguerra, Ivy Perez, Sarah Gonzales, Nene Bautista, and Lutgarda Malaluan to give the crucial support to batters Honey Royse Tubino and Jeanette Villareal.