The PLDT MyDSL Speed Boosters defused sister team Cignal HD Spikers, 25-19, 21-25, 25-21, 25-14, while the TMS Army Troopers defeated the RC Cola Raiders with set scores of 19-25, 25-15, 25-21, 25-16. In men’s division action, the Giligan’s Sisig Kings escaped with a three-set thriller against the Maybank Tigers, 25-23, 27-25, 26-24.
Savannah Noyes led PLDT with 16 points, 12 coming from attacks and four from blocks. Sue Roces contributed 14 points, while Kaylee Manns and Lou Ann Latigay had 11 each.
Cignal’s imports Li Zhanzhan and Xie Lei combined for 32 points to pace their team.
PLDT MyDSL coach Roger Gorayeb decried his wards’ slow start in the first two sets. “Ang bagal ng umpisa namin. Parang nagkapaan lahat. Ang dami naming error,” he said.
After conceding the first set, Li starred in the next one with eight points to equalize. It was tight in the third set until Maruja Banaticla gave PLDT a 17-12 headway. Noyes found a hole in the middle, sending the ball in that direction to finish the set.
Finally, the Speed Boosters found some rhythm to lead by as many as ten, 23-13, the last point coming from a Manns service ace. Roces’ strike down the right sideline concluded the contest.
Nevertheless, the champion coach of San Sebastian College Recoletos will take the result although he wants to see him team improve their execution.
“As a coach, yung outcome happy ako. Pero the way they played, hindi ako medyo happy kasi hindi namin nagawa iyung mga dapat naming gawin tulad ng ginagawa namin sa ensayo,” he explained.
Defending champs TMS Army claim first win
After surrendering the first set, the TMS Army Troopers went down to work and took the next three to dispose new team RC Cola, 19-25, 25-15, 25-21, 25-16. Jovelyn Gonzaga was at the frontline with 16 points, while Wanitchaya Luangtonglang had 15. Jacqueline Alarca finished with 11 points, four from attacks, four from blocks, and three from service aces.
Zhang Minghua shone for the Raiders with 16 points, while Sontaya Keawbundit came up with 11.
“Itong game na ito magandang simula para sa TMS Army,” coach Rico de Guzman said, emphasizing the importance of winning the first game in this short tournament.
In what can be considered a surprise result, the Raiders claimed the opening salvo with Renalyn Argero scoring three straight aces for a 4-0 start. Keawbundit then gave RC Cola a 14-7 advantage, a gap the Troopers were not able to recover from.
“Noong natalo kami ng first set, nilabas ko muna si Yuki (Murakoshi) kasi hindi sila magka-tugma ni (Tina) Salak. Nahirapan siya (in setting up plays),” de Guzman said. “Sinabihan ko si Yuki na mag-observe muna kung ano ginagawa ni (Angela) Nunag.”
Recover TMS Army did as the green shirts raced to a 12-2 start. RC Cola then started to unravel as their reception and floor defense became erratic. Luangtonglang’s ace practically sealed the set for the Troopers with the scoreboard reading 24-12.
The third set was tighter as the Raiders were leading at times, the last at 18-17 with a Zhang kill before a Tina Salak drop in the middle and an Alarca ace gave TMS the upperhand. Gonzaga blocked RC Cola’s Thai import’s attack to close the set.
A 9-0 start in the fourth set by the Invitational champions practically put the fight out of the greenhorn squad, the latter’s problems compounding when a violation had the Raiders trailing, 9-22.
Giligan’s tastes first win of PSL Grand Prix
The Giligan’s Sisig Kings pulled all stops to come out on top of the Maybank Tigers, 25-23, 27-25, 26-24. It was the Tigers’ errors in crucial instances that gave Giligan’s the game. The Sisig Kings are tied with PLDT MyDSL on top of the standings and the two will face each other this Friday. Maybank joins Systema with one loss.
JP Torres topscored for Giligan’s with 12 points, while Ivan Bacolod was the lone double digit scorer for Maybank with ten.
Frank Mauricio credited his team’s proper execution despite only a week’s worth of practice as the key for them in winning the closely fought skirmish.
He also reminded his players to not get rattled while staying aggressive and positive at the same time.
Coming from a 20-all deadlock in the first set, the Sisig Kings were able to take two-point leads in several instances, the last one with a Salvador Depante kill to take the frame.
The second and third sets practically played out the same way as Maybank kept in step despite not getting the upperhand. The Tigers’ errors gave Giligan’s final two points of the match as Warren Pirante scored from an attack and Roland Tonquin came up with an ace. -JP Abcede