PVL: PLDT forces do-or-die vs Petro Gazz

Karl Cedrick Basco, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 21 2023 06:28 PM | Updated as of Mar 21 2023 06:49 PM

Photo from PVL Media Bureau
Photo from PVL Media Bureau

MANILA (UPDATED) – The PLDT High Speed Hitters denied Petro Gazz Angels a finals berth as they forced a do-or-die game in their semifinal series in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference.

PLDT bucked a slow start as they took down Petro Gazz, 14-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-15, in Game 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena Tuesday. 

Michelle Morente and Jovy Prado paced the Angels with 16 and 15 points, respectively. 

But they also got significant contributions from veteran setter and birthday celebrant Rhea Dimaculangan who had 25 excellent sets and libero Kath Arado, who tallied 26 digs and 12 excellent receptions to go along with two attack points. 

"Sabi ko binigay pa namin yung unang set para mag warm up sobrang slow start e. Hindi naman about sa Petro Gazz sa amin mismo. Yung first set na wala pa yung focus at intensity," head coach Rald Ricafort said. 

After a sloppy start, the High Speed Hitters appeared to be on course of taking Set 2 with a 19-15 lead. But the Angels slowly crawled back and regained the upperhand, 21-19 off a Jonah Sabete crosscourt attack. 

PLDT rallied back as bench player Erika Santos tied the game at 23 before an error from the Angels and a block by Morente gave them the frame. 

It was all High Speed Hitters in the third set as they quickly built a commanding 23-12 separation after a spike of Mean Mendrez. 

The same story happened in the fourth as PLDT carried the momentum for a 20-10 gap, highlighted by an attack from Arado. 

Mendrez’s back-to-back points sealed the victory for the High Speed Hitters and extended the series into one more game. 

They will face each other one last time on Thursday, March 23, at the same venue.