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PLDT prepares for long haul

MIKA Reyes is expected to suit up when PLDT returns to PVL Invitational Conference action. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PVL

PLDT head coach Rald Ricafort is taking a cautious approach to his rotation to ensure that he will have healthy players available in the tightly-scheduled Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference.

Ricafort plans to manage his wards’ minutes inside the court with the High Speed Hitters looking at playing their last three games in Pool A in a span of six days when hostilities resume this week.

“We have to prepare well for our next games especially that we are scheduled to play every other day. It’s a tough stretch for us so we’ll need everyone’s effort,” Ricafort said.

PLDT opened its campaign on a bright note following a swift straight-sets walloping of Akari, 25-15, 25-19, 25-22, last 1 July before the league went on a 10-day break to give way to the country’s hosting of the Volleyball Nations League Week 3.

The High Speed Hitters get back into action on 13 July in a showdown against unbeaten defending champion Creamline at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Cool Smashers are on top of Pool A with a perfect 2-0 win-loss and are a win away from securing one of the two semifinal seats at stake.

PLDT will square off with expansion team Gerflor on 15 July before wrapping up the elimination round against star-studded Chery Tiggo on 18 July.

“So we plan to field different rotations as much as we can so that if we’re lucky to get past the elims, we’ll still have healthy players available,” Ricafort said.

The mentor expects to have top hitter Mean Mendrez and team captain Mika Reyes back after sitting out the High Speed Hitters’ debut game because of injuries.

Mendrez is nursing a minor knee injury while Reyes is recovering from a shoulder operation two months ago.

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