PVL: Akari continues learning process

Akari Chargers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference.

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Akari Chargers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference.

Akari Chargers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. -MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

With the tools to contend but considered an underachiever thus far, Akari has been doing the best it can to complete its preliminary round schedule in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference in a positive way, even if there is practically no guarantee that a semifinal seat is at the end of all its hard work.

The Chargers won a second straight game after blanking Capital1 on Thursday, 25-17, 25-14, 25-20, but the door for them to advance past the elimination round has been virtually shut, with their chances resting on powerhouse defending champion Creamline losing an unlikely three games in a row in closing out their own elimination round schedule.

“We need help from the other teams,” Akari coach Raffy Mosuela said in Filipino, as the Cool Smashers can eliminate the Chargers even with just a win in their last three games, which will be against Nxled, Choco Mucho and PLDT.

“We would need to ask for wins (over Creamline) from the other teams,” Mosuela said after his crew improved to a 4-5 card with assignments against Chery Tiggo and lightweight Strong Group left.

As things stand, the Flying Titans and High Speed Hitters share the lead at 7-1, with the Cool Smashers and Petro Gazz Angels tied for third at 6-2. Chery Tiggo and Cignal, who are at 5-2, are still playing at press time, with the loser moving closer to elimination as only the top four teams will advance.

That’s why Mosuela remains realistic about their chances and would just want a grand exit as a consolation prize.

“Our target is to beat Chery [Tiggo for us] to at least finish with a winning record,” he said as his charges continue to learn playing with one another and hopefully give the powerhouses a better fight in the next conference. “The team is starting to have good chemistry [in just a] short period of time this conference where we had two new additions apart from myself,” Mosuela said. “It takes around six months to fully get the team chemistry [we need], so as we near the end of the conference, it starts to add up.”

The veteran Dindin Santiago-Manabat has gone on to lead the efforts of the Chargers, topscoring with 25 points against the Solar Spikers. Her total featured 20 points off attacks as she simply towered over the Capital1 defense. She also had three blocks and two aces.

“What’s good with our team is that everyone is staying patient, so even if we lose or encounter challenges, we really work hard and everyone keeps showing up and working hard,” said Fifi Sharma, one of the league’s top blockers here.

“Hopefully, these remaining games we get to showcase what we are working for these past few months,’ she added.


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