PVL: Dimaculangan warns against complacency after PLDT's strong start in semis

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2022 01:15 PM

PLDT captain Rhea Dimaculangan. PVL Media.
PLDT captain Rhea Dimaculangan. PVL Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- Rhea Dimaculangan was pleased with PLDT's superb start to the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference, but the veteran setter also tempered their celebrations.

The High Speed Hitters took down Army Black Mamba on Tuesday afternoon, 25-22, 25-18, 25-21, with four players scoring in double-digits and Dimaculangan tallying 24 excellent sets.

They needed just an hour and 31 minutes to rack up a first win in the semifinals, where the top four local squads will be joined by guest teams Kobe Shinwa Women's University and KingWhale Taipei.

"Siyempre, happy [about the win]," Dimaculangan said. "Pero palagi pa rin namin nire-remind ang bawat isa na dapat, hindi magiging complacent. Kailangan maging focused kami hanggang sa matapos namin 'tong PVL."

The High Speed Hitters were a picture of poise in the closing stretch of the first and third sets, where they got clutch plays from the likes of Mika Reyes, Eli Soyud and Wendy Semana to fend off the Lady Troopers.

Reyes continued her fine performance in the Invitational, finishing with 16 points including 15 hits. Fellow middle blocker Dell Palomata contributed 12 points, and Toni Rose Basas (11) and Fiola Ceballos (10) also scored in double figures. 

With Dimaculangan pulling the strings, PLDT connected on 52 of 140 spikes in the match. Afterward, however, the veteran stressed the need for improvement, noting that the High Speed Hitters had a tendency to squander leads.

"Siguro, 'yung pagiging consistent namin sa bawat game. Kasi, minsan 'di namin napapansin na parang nagre-relax na kami," said Dimaculangan. "So 'yun 'yung pinag-aaralan namin. At saka paano pa kami mas magiging buo, kahit na anong sitwasyon ang mangyari sa game."

Still, the big win against Army will be a major confidence boost for the High Speed Hitters in the semis, where they are looking forward to testing their mettle against the foreign guest clubs.

"Siyempre, nakakabigay siya ng parang kumpiyansa para sa mga susunod namin games. Siya ang magiging baon namin," Dimaculangan said.

"Pero 'di pa rin kami pwede mag-relax, and one game at a time pa rin," she stressed.

The High Speed Hitters are back in action on Thursday against Cignal HD, while Army will try to bounce back against the top-seeded Creamline Cool Smashers.