Volleyball: PLDT stays alive, outlasts Air Force in semis Game 2


Posted at Jul 15 2019 11:59 AM

PLDT celebrates after beating Air Force. Photo courtesy of Sports Vision

MANILA, Philippines -- Pao Pablico and the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters live to fight another day after outlasting defending Spikers' Turf Reinforced Conference champions Go For Gold-Air Force Jet Spikers in Game 2 of their semis series.

The Power Hitters tied up their best-of-3 series at one game apiece after a 26-24, 20-25, 25-21, 20-25, 15-13 triumph on Sunday at the Paco Arena.

"We have a game plan, kaso hindi na-implement nang 100%, pero medyo effective naman. Medyo tapat na sila, they trust me and tell me if they cannot play anymore, palit muna or pahinga, so 'yung trust medyo nakita ko na," said PLDT coach Odjie Mamon. 

Adamson University standout Pablico spearheaded PLDT with 18 points, 16 of which came from attacks, while Joshua Umandal fired 16 points built on 13 attacks, two aces, and a block to go along with 21 excellent receptions and eight digs.

With the scores tied at four-all in the fifth frame, Pablico sparked a 4-0 rally to put the Power Hitters up by four points, 8-4. Bryan Bagunas came alive off a timeout, however, unleashing six points in a 7-2 rally to give his squad the lead, 11-10.

Richard Solis and Josh Umandal kept their squad afloat, scoring on consecutive possessions to retake the lead at 12-11. A net infraction from Air Force followed by an attack error from Kim Malabunga proved to be the difference in the game, as it provided the Power Hitters a 14-13 advantage.

John Vic De Guzman finished the match with a block on Ranran Abdilla.

Ronchette Villegas dished out 22 excellent sets, while De Guzman and Peter Quiel added 10 points, respectively, to force a do-or-die match with the Jet Spikers.

On the other hand, Bagunas led Air Force with 25 points built on 20 attacks and five aces, while Abdilla added 18 points and 16 excellent receptions.

PLDT and Air Force will dispute one of the two finals slots on Tuesday, July 16, at 2 p.m. at the same venue.

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