PLDT Home Ultera survived Meralco, 25-23, 23-25, 19-25, 25-12, 15-11, on Sunday for its sixth win in six matches in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
Alyssa Valdez scored 23 points from 19 spikes, three blocks and one service ace, for the Ultra Fast Hitters, which was stretched to five sets for the first time in the tournament.
Jaja Santiago scored 14, Sue Roces contributed 11 points and Gretcel Soltones had 10 as PLDT completed the match in two hours and 14 minutes.
“Kapag naglalaro ka expect mo lagi na five sets, nagpe-prepare naman kami para sa five sets (na laro) pinaghahandaan namin ’yan” said Gorayeb, who needed four sets to defeat Cagayan Valley last week.
“Ever since naman wala naman kaming ego na dapat three sets lang anu’t ano man ang mangyari No. 1 pa rin kami, pasok sa top four,” he added.
Arianna Angustia gave the Power Spikers a slim 7-6 lead but Santiago and Soltones were quick to score and push PLDT back on top, 8-7.
The see-saw battle continued until PLDT setter Rubie de Leon scored on a drop and Meralco committed back-to-back errors that made it 13-10 for the Ultra Fast Hitters.
“Gusto nila (Meralco) manalo,” said Gorayeb. “Maganda ang reception nila, they almost won this game.”
But the veteran mentor noted his players’ experience was the difference.
“Fighting against us in a five-setter match mahirap for our opponent,” said Gorayeb. “Sa fourth set naka-recover kami and sa fifth set that’s where experience comes in.”
“Malalim ang bench ko and you’ll always have that reliable substitute,” he added.
Paneng Mercado scored 18 points, Aby Marano added 16, Maica Morada chipped in 13 and Cha Cruz made 12 for Meralco, which suffered its second loss in four matches.