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Intact PLDT stays connected

photograph courtesy of PVL Royse Tubino joins PLDT for the PVL Invitational Conference.

PLDT looks to take advantage of its battle-tested team chemistry and familiarity in its bid for a breakthrough podium finish in the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference.

The High Speed Hitters stayed connected as they made minimal movements with only two player additions in their roster for the mid-season tournament set to begin hostilities today at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

“I can say that it’s a big advantage for us because we didn’t need to make too many adjustments,” opposite hitter Michele Morente said.

PLDT, which finished fourth in the season-opening All-Filipino Conference, kept its core intact and added a veteran winger in Royse Tubino and backup setter Venice Puzon.

While other clubs are busy releasing and recruiting players to beef up their rosters, the High Speed Hitters are already ahead of the game, polishing their chemistry to march into battle as one cohesive unit.

“We only have Ate Royse and Venice coming in but we all know that they can contribute to our team as well,” Morente, who had a stellar performance last conference averaging 11.3 points per game.

“We all know that volleyball is all about team chemistry and teamwork.”

Tubino, a grizzled veteran, is a great addition to the High Speed Hitters providing big numbers on offense.

The 30-year-old power-hitter can churn in points in bunches as proven by her 14.2 points average per game in the previous tournament where she finished fifth in the scoring department while playing for Army, which took a leave of absence.

“I could impart to my teammates my knowledge as a veteran. I may not be the best player in the Philippines but I know I can contribute to the team,” Tubino said.

PLDT could also benefit from the international exposure of its middle blocker Del Palomata, libero Kath Arado and Jules Samonte.

Palomata and Arado were part of the national team that participated in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia while Samonte donned the tricolor in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Challenge Cup for Women in Gresik, Indonesia.

Other key High Speed Hitters holdovers under head coach Rald Ricafort are Mean Mendrez, Jovie Prado, setter Rhea Dimaculangan and team captain Mika Reyes.

PLDT, which finished fourth in last year’s edition, is in Pool A along with defending champion Creamline, Akari, Chery Tiggo and newcomer Gerflor.

The High Speed Hitters battle the Chargers on 1 July to open their campaign.

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