Save from a slow start, PLDT cruised to a 29-27, 25-14, 25-18, sweep of Galeries Tower for a fifth straight victory in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference Thursday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Erika Santos took the spotlight in the one-hour, 44-minute encounter scoring a game-high 17 points she built on 15 attacks and two kill blocks while adding 13 digs to power the High Speed Hitters to solo second spot with a 5-1 win-loss record.
PLDT had trouble shaking off the expansion team Highrisers in the opening set but showed great resolve to pull through. Then it was a cakewalk all the way for the High Speed Hitters.
Still, PLDT head coach Rald Ricafort expressed concerns on his team’s shaky first set against a team which has yet to win a game in six starts.
“We didn’t like the first set since we saw a lot of lapses. We really need to address that in training. But after the first set, our game got better,” Ricafort said.
Royse Tubino added 14 markers and five excellent receptions, Rachel Austero made seven points while Savannah Davison and skipper Mika Reyes added six points each for the High Speed Hitters.
Andrea Marzan was the only Galeries Tower player in double figures with 11 points while Roma Joy Doromal and Audrey Paran chipped in nine and six markers, respectively.
In the first game, F2 Logistics collected its second win in a row at the expense of listless Gerflor, 25-10, 25-16, 25-14, for a 4-2 slate.
The Cargo Movers turned to the trio of Ara Galang, Aby Marano and Ivy Lacsina to demolish the Defenders, who are plagued with internal trouble, after a five-set escape over Farm From in their previous outing.
“Of course, it’s a good boost for the team for the next game with the defending champions, but I told them that this is good preparation for the next game, and we cannot be complacent,” F2 Logistics head coach Regine Diego said.
“Lastly, it is essential to respect the opponent, not just react based on who you’re playing against. I told them that if they get too close to their opponents, it means they are not respecting them,” Diego added.
Galang had an all-around outing with 11 points, 11 digs and three receptions while Marano and Galang chipped in 10 markers each for the Cargo Movers.
After breezing through the first two sets, F2 Logistics elevated their game in the third set with Jolina dela Cruz, Jovelyn Fernandez, and Mars Alba collaborating to establish a 14-point lead at 21-7, which demoralized the Defenders.
Danika Gendrauli tallied 11 points to lead the 0-6 Gerflor while Menchie Tubiera and Angelei Jingco combined for 13 markers.