The Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors bounced back from their opening day loss by putting down the PLDT Power Hitters in three sets, 25-18, 25-19, 25-21, in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Ilocos Norte.
Mika Reyes, after getting held to just three hits in Sta. Lucia’s four-set loss to Creamline last Saturday, got on track and finished with 11 points coming off nine hits, a block and an ace that helped power the Lady Realtors to the straight sets victory.
Down by a set and 15-20 behind in the second frame, PLDT scored three straight hits behind Jorelle Singh and Joy Soyud to threaten but the Lady Realtors kept their composure with Dell Palomata stepping up with a push and a quick hit.
The victory did not come easy as the Power Hitters kept the game close in the third until Palomata and Sabete combined in an 8-2 run to pull away at 19-11 with the latter capping the big run with another power blast.
The Power Hitters, though, refused to give up as Singh fired back-to-back hits to spark five unanswered points that put PLDT within a single point, 21-22. But as in the previous frame, the Lady Realtors uncorked a strong finishing kick aided by Isa Molde’s mishit. MJ Philips then produced a kill block against May Guillema and veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas finished off the Power Hitters with a down-the-line hit.
Meanwhile, Creamline and Petro Gazz face off today on Tuesday in a duel of fancied teams although the star-studded Cool Smashers are expected to settle down after turning back Sta. Lucia, 25-18, 25-21, 25-27, 25-18, in one of the two matches that kicked off the country's first pro volley league.
The Angels likewise needed an extra set to repulse the Black Mamba Army Lady Troopers, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21, in a long delayed match Sunday but their new stars are still trying to fit into the system, including outside hitters Gretchel Soltones and Myla Pablo and opposite hitter Ces Molina.
Gametime is at 3 p.m. with the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Michele Gumabao and Jema Galanza bracing for a clash of firepower against Soltones, Pablo and Molina in a match that will also put into focus each team’s net defense and floor coverage.
Army, on the other hand, seeks to rebound from the setback as it takes on a debuting Bali Pure at 6 p.m. (JNP)