MANILA, Philippines - PLDT Home TVolution bucked the odds and stunned fancied Petron, 16-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-22, yesterday to barge into the semifinal round of the PLDT Home-Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference volleyball tournament at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Louann Latigay and Suzanne Roces came away with a combined 32-hit output as the Power Attackers overcame a poor start and overpowered the Blaze Spikers in the next three to advance.
Latigay nailed all of her 18 points on smashes while Roces chipped in 14 markers for sixth-seeded PLDT, which will take on another title contender RC Cola Air Force for a spot in the finals.
The winner between AirAsia and Cagayan Valley, meanwhile, will face Generika Army in the other semis pairing of the tournament sponsored byPLDT Home DSL and backed by Mikasa, Asics, Mueller Tapes, Jinling Sports Equipment, LGR, Bench and Healthway Medical.
“We were able to recover from a poor first set,” said PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb, whose wards surrendered a tournament-high 37 points to Petron’s Dindin Santiago in the prelims.
“I told them to treat this game as if this were the championship game. There’s no more tomorrow. Good thing they responded. They showed that they have the experience, the desire to win this match,” said Gorayeb.
Santiago delivered 23 kills for a total of 28 points. But her effort went for naught as her teammates failed to step up and made a number of miscues, especially in the last two sets.
Petron had 34 errors compared to PLDT’s 19.
True enough, after a listless start, PLDT waxed hot, punishing the Petron defense with a flurry of hot smashes down the stretch to claim the second and third sets.
Santiago tried to rally the Blaze Spikers in a bid to stretch the game to a deciding set. But Latigay and Roces pounced on Petron’s errors early in the fourth set to seize control.
Petron managed to knot the count at 22. But a backrow violation followed by Santiago’s wide attack, enabling the Power Attackers to complete the come-from-behind win.