Games on 11 July:
9:30 a.m. –– Petro Gazz vs Farm Fresh
12:00 p.m. — Cignal vs Foton
4:00 p.m. — Akari vs Chery Tiggo
6:00 p.m. — Choco Mucho vs F2 Logistics
PLDT took advantage of Dell Palomata’s imposing presence for a quick work of Akari, 25-15, 25-19, 25-22, in Pool A of the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference Saturday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
The 6-foot-3 High Speed Hitters middle blocker wreaked havoc at the net, showing great connection with veteran setter Rhea Dimaculangan as she pounded away with well-timed quick attacks and was also active in putting up a defensive wall to shut down the Chargers.
Palomata, who played for the national team in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia last May, finished with game-high 14 points she collected from 10 kills, three kill blocks and an ace for PLDT, which spoiled the debut of Akari blue-chip recruit Faith Nisperos.
The High Speed Hitters never gave the Chargers a chance to get proper footing in the two squad’s first outing in the mid-season tournament.
“We’re very happy we started our campaign with a win but we still have a lot to work on because we’re going up against good teams in our coming games,” PLDT coach Rald Ricafort
Palomata got the help she could get on offense with Jovy Prado displaying her all-around game with 13 points including 12 attacks and nine digs while Michelle Morente added 11 markers.
Grizzled veteran Royse Tubino chipped in eight points in her first game as a High Speed Hitter and Jessey De Leon also added eight.
PLDT was in control for most of the duel and went up 18-14 in the third set after an ace by Tubino. Akari tried to fight back but never got closer than three points.
A service error by Chargers veteran Dindin Santiago-Manabat put the Hugh Speed Hitters at match point, 24-20. Akari saved three match points to close in, 24-22 after Lut Malaluan scored her lone point in the game from an off the block kill.
Palomata fittingly capped her amazing outing for PLDT with a solid kill block on Trisha Genesis.
Nisperos, a sought-after recruit from Ateneo de Manila University, had a quiet five-point outing with six digs and three excellent receptions.
Manabat led the Chargers with 10 points, Genesis had eight while Ezra Madrigal finished with six.
Meanwhile, the league will take a 10-day break to give way to the country’s hosting of the Men’s Volleyball Nations League Week 3 starting 4 July at the Mall of Asia Arena.