Instantly after successful a championship, Rald Ricafort packed his baggage and switched to a special staff. He was offered, he stated, on the youth motion of PLDT and determined to pitch camp there.
He has circled again to his former staff once more, this time as its semifinal opponent.
“No less than, we already received to play them earlier than,” Ricafort stated on Thursday. “It was a very good battle and we’ll overview that recreation once more.”
The stakes can be greater this time.
After sealing the No. 3 seed with a 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-16 victory over Choco Mucho within the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Convention at PhilSports Area, the Excessive Pace Hitters will brace for a semifinal collection in opposition to Petro Gazz.
The perfect-of-three semifinals get occurring Saturday with high seed Creamline battling rival F2 Logistics within the different pairing.
Want to enhance
The Excessive Pace Hitters personal a five-set elimination spherical win over the Angels, who received the Strengthened Convention underneath Ricafort to finish final season, however Thursday’s showdown in opposition to the Flying Titans uncovered the necessity to enhance their efficiency earlier than the hunt for Finals berths will get going.
“[W]e should work more durable and attempt to preserve our composure,” stated Imply Mendrez, who led PLDT with 21 factors.
The Excessive Pace Hitters additionally want to chop down on the identical errors that had them slowed down within the first set in opposition to a squad that had nothing to battle for anymore.
“[The first set] was a lesson for us,” Ricafort stated. “We have now to be taught from these sorts of errors. If we will management the sport, we have now to manage it as a result of it’s exhausting to play in opposition to the staff which not feels stress.”
Choco Mucho gamely took the battle to PLDT because the Titans stored issues shut within the third set regardless of trailing by six halfway there. An assault by Isa Molde tied the depend at 23 earlier than PLDT star Mika Reyes got here by with a operating assault and a fast hit to shut out the set.
“We reminded ourselves to only rating that one level first as a result of we didn’t wish to assume that we have been going to lose that set,” Reyes stated. “I feel these reminders we gave ourselves helped push us to get that one level.”
The Excessive Pace Hitters ran away with the fourth set to assert a 6-2 (win-loss) card and take the third seed.
Mendrez completed with 18 assaults, two aces and a block, whereas Reyes unloaded 18 factors constructed on 13 spikes, 4 blocks and an ace.
“We wanted to complete robust, as a result of [this game] could be the premise of our semis [seeding],” stated Mendrez.
Veteran Rhea Dimaculangan paced PLDT with 25 glorious units with Dell Palomata and Jovy Prado contributing 12 factors every. Mich Morente added 10 factors, together with the game-winning assault that ended their two-hour and 21-minute match.
Libero Kat Arado protected the ground with 31 digs whereas Prado helped her out with 13 digs and 10 glorious receptions.
Choco Mucho missed the semifinals for the third straight event and received simply two of its eight matches in coach Dante Alinsunurin’s first season for its worst franchise end within the league.
Molde and Kat Tolentino led the Titans with 14 factors every.
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