PLDT is hoping it can maximize its one-day preparation before it enters the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals on Saturday.
PLDT vs Petro Gazz preview
The High Speed Hitters closed out the elimination round with a 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-16 third-seed clinching triumph over Choco Mucho on Thursday afternoon at PhilSports Arena, leaving them the only semis-bound squad to have a day of preparation ahead of the playoffs.
"Paghahandaan din talaga namin kahit medyo tight yung [schedule since] kami lang yung naglaro [ngayon] na magse-semis. One-day preparation lang pero tignan natin kung ano mangyayari," head coach Rald Ricafort said.
Despite a short time to strategize when they face no. 2 seed Petro Gazz Angels on Saturday, Ricafort is looking at the situation with a silver lining.
"Hard working naman yung players. Siguro, credit na rin sa staff namin. Pinrepare sila nang maayos... and yung conditioning nila. Condition pa nga lalo eh," he said as all starters of PLDT breached double-figures in its non-bearing game against Choco Mucho.
"Niremind lang talaga na irerespect pa rin namin yung game ngayon... kasi ito yung magiging basis namin kung nasaan kami and in a way, buwelo na rin namin going into the semis."
Ricafort is also expecting a tougher matchup once more against his former team of four years whom he led to its second PVL Reinforced Conference crown just three months ago.
The High Speed Hitters got the best of the Angels during the elimination round and hacked out a 21-25, 31-29, 25-21, 21-25, 15-13 victory. The loss to PLDT was the second and last defeat of the Angels who clinched the second seed with a 6-2 record and 19 points.
"At least nakalaban na namin sila before. Naging maganda yung laban. So irereview lang ulit. I-tatry lang namin ulit i-mimic kung ano man yung naging strategy nung elims pero mag-eexpect talaga kami na gusto nila bumawi sa amin," he said.
PLDT and Petro Gazz will take the spotlight at 6:30 p.m. after the matchup of no. 1 seed and defending champions Creamline and F2 Logistics.