GRETHCEL Soltones brought back the winning ways of PLDT Home Fibr after beating winless Marinerang Pilipina, 25-16, 25-23, 25-20, in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on a rainy Saturday at the Arena in San Juan City.
Following a frustrating three-set loss to defending champion Petron last week, Soltones led the collective effort of the Power Hitters to send the Lady Skippers to their 12th straight loss after a 90-minute encounter.
Soltones delivered 10 spikes for 11 points and also put up a tremendous floor defense with 19 digs and 13 excellent receptions to keep PLDT at No. 6 with an improved 4-7 win-loss record.
PLDT head coach Roger Gorayeb was convinced with the win but he already accepted that they only have a slim chance to exceed the sixth spot and will likely face the No.3 team in the knockout quarterfinals.
“Okay lang, at least nakapanalo. Naghahabol kasi kami ngayon siyempre lahat ng ipapanalo mas importante,” said Gorayeb.
The Power Hitters have three last preliminary games against Cignal, Generika-Ayala and F2 Logistics.
“Hindi naman gagalaw yung standing namin, number six pa rin kami,” he added.
Aiko Urdas scored nine points laced with 16 digs. Sasa Devanadera also had nine markers, while setter Jasmine Nabor paced the squad with 14 excellent sets and hit five markers.
Despite the strong start dominating the opening set and convincing finish in the third frame, the Power Hitters needed to survive an 11-14 deficit and neck-and-neck duel in the second set as Jerrili Malabanan delivered the finishing touches for the two-set lead.
Nobody scored in double figures for Marinerang Pilipina with veterans Ivy Remulla and Nica Guliman leading the way with nine and eight points, respectively, only for their team to reel at No.8 with a 0-12 card.
Outside hitter Chiara Permentilla was still out of the match due to a left knee injury she sustained last week against Cignal.