PLDT blows lead, hangs on to end Choco Mucho’s perfect start

PLDT High Speed Hitters PVL

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PLDT High Speed Hitters PVL

PLDT High Speed Hitters during the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–PLDT avoided a meltdown and dealt Choco Mucho its first loss, 25-20, 25-12, 23-25, 11-25, 15-13, in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at FilOil EcoOil Arena in San Juan City.

Savannah Davison poured in 21 points from 18 attacks and three blocks to lead the High Speed Hitters while Erika Santos contributed 14 points mostly from kills thanks to Kim Fajardo’s 22 excellent sets.

Fajardo also tallied four attacks with two blocks and a pair of aces.

“Important lang ‘yung game na ‘to para makapasok kami sa goal namin na top four, kailangan talaga makakuha kami [ng panalo] sa mga top teams,” PLDT coach Rald Ricafort said. “Happy kami na nakuha namin ‘to at kahit papaano nabura ‘yung memory noong last conference na nag breakdown kami ng fifth set.”

READ: Trust fuels Kim Fajardo’s big game in PLDT win over Choco Mucho

Applying the lessons learned from their five-set loss to Choco Mucho in the previous conference, Ricafort decided to change his personnel in the final frame and put Kiesha Bedonia on the floor—and it paid off.

The rookie nailed two crucial attacks to put PLDT on the verge of its fourth win in five games before Kat Tolentino committed an attack error that gave the High Speed Hitters a two-game winning run.

“Sobrang saya ko po [na] nakatulong din ako sa teammates ko. Sobrang gutom na gutom po kami manalo talaga ngayon. [‘Yung] mga hard training namin talaga nagbunga ngayon,” Bedonia said.

After dominating the first two sets, PLDT, who was coming off a win over Capital1 10 days ago, lost steam as Choco Mucho mounted a comeback to extend the match to a deciding fifth set.

READ: PLDT puts first loss behind with dominant bounce-back win

Luckily for PLDT, it got its composure back in the decider even with Sisi Rondina and Maddie Madayag giving Choco Mucho an early lead.

Sisi Rondina’s 25-point performance was not enough to keep Choco Mucho’s perfect run. Tolentino’s 18 points and Isa Molde’s 10 points also went down the drain.

Libero Thang Ponce, despite the loss, defended Choco Mucho’s floor with 33 excellent digs and 13 excellent receptions.

PLDT tries to get another victory when it faces Farm Fresh on Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo City before Choco Mucho eyes to get back on track against Akari in the 6 p.m. encounter.

“Kailangan kalimutan namin kaagad ‘yung panalo ngayon kasi una, ‘yung complacency ‘yung kalaban. Hindi na bata ‘yung Farm Fresh eh, pinapahirapan na nila ‘yung mga top teams,” Ricafort said.


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“Kung ngayon pa kami medyo nag lie low, huhuli at huhulihin kami nun so kailangan mag move on kaagad, manalo o matalo tapos trabaho kaagad kami Thursday, Friday kasi late na,” he added.

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