Dominican import Prisilla Rivera wrote her name in the Premier Volleyball League record books with a historic performance that kept newcomer Akari’s flickering Reinforced Conference semifinals hopes alive.
The power-hitting recruit dropped a league-best 44 points in leading the Chargers to a 23-25, 25-21, 25-19, 21-25, 15-12, escape over Choco Mucho to end a three-game slide on Thursday night at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Despite resetting a PVL scoring standard, Rivera downplayed her explosive outing.
“Of course, she’s happy with our team winning and for scoring that many points,” Akari’s Brazilian coach Jorge de Brito said in a rough translation of Rivera’s statement in Spanish.
“But the most important for her is the win because the team needs it. She can have two points or even if she makes 50 or more it won’t matter if we lost.”
The three-time Olympian’s output reset the league-record set by American import Kia Bright of Banko Perlas when she posted 41 points in a five-set loss to PayMaya 6 July 2017 in the do-or-die semifinals match.
Rivera also bettered the 35-point debut of Russian Elena Samoilenko when she led PLDT to a 17-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-11, 15-11, win over Army last 8 October at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.
Rivera had an impressive stat line on offense with 39 attacks, four aces and a kill block. The 37-year-old reinforcement also flexed her muscle on the defensive end with 14 excellent receptions for Akari.
But more than her scoring feat, De Brito was impressed with the leadership shown by Rivera to lift the morale of the Chargers to snap a three-game slump.
“We go to the market trying to find a player, a really good player but there’s some points that we need to bend with our team because they are so young,” De Brito explained.