PLDT refused to go away easily in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference semifinals, pulling off a 14-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-15 victory over Petro Gazz in Game Two on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The High Speed Hitters shrugged off a lopsided first set and returned the favor by dominating Petro Gazz in the last two frames to send the best-of-three series to a deciding match.
Jovie Prado and Mich Morente led the comeback with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
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Prado also helped Kath Arado tighten the floor defense by tallying 11 digs and 10 receptions while leading best libero candidate Arado had another spectacular showing of 26-of-34 digs and 12-of-23 receptions.
“Sabi ko binigay pa namin yung unang set para mag warm up – sobrang slow start eh. Hindi naman about sa Petro Gazz, sa amin mismo. Yung first set na wala pa yung focus at intensity,” said PLDT coach Rald Ricafort, who watched in horror as the High Speed Hitters trailed by 14 points in the opening frame, 8-22.
“Sabi nga ni coach tapos na yung warm-up n'yo baka naman pwede namang gumalaw na kami ng maayos, maglaro na kami ng normal. So second set in-enjoy na lang din namin yung game,” Rhea Dimaculangan said.
The High Speed Hitters were able to limit their errors to only eight in the last three sets while turning up its offense to complete a comeback.
Jonah Sabete led the Angels with 13 points while Grethcel Soltones and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas chipped in 12 each.