PVL: High Flyers seek payback vs Cool Smasher

Grethcel Soltones, in action against Risa Sato in Game One
Grethcel Soltones, in action against Risa Sato in Game One

Games tomorrow (MOA Arena)
10 a.m. – PLDT vs Vice Co (men’s – for third)
1:45 p.m. – Pocari-Air Force vs BanKo-Perlas (women’s – for 3rd)
3:45 p.m. – Creamline vs PayMaya (women’s – for crown)
6 p.m. – Cignal vs Air Force (men’s – for crown)

The PayMaya High Flyers hope to put behind them the pent up emotions of their harrowing four-set setback to the Creamline Cool Smashers in the opener of their Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference Finals last Sunday and vowed a payback no less in Game 2 set tomorrow at the MOA Arena in Pasay.

But coach Roger Gorayeb said that for his wards to bounce back from their 21-25, 25-22, 20-25, 19-25 loss and stop the Cool Smashers from their sweep bid, the High Flyers must re-group and do what they are supposed to do in a championship match.

“As embarrassing as it may seem, I think we didn’t play the kind of game we needed to do. This is the championship and we have to play on a different level,” said Gorayeb in Filipino.
The multi-titled mentor was referring to his wards’ erratic game where they gave away 29 points off miscues, the bulk of which coming at the crucial stretch of the last two sets.

PayMaya actually also scored 28 points off its rival’s errors, only the High Flyers seemed to lack the fire, energy and drive in the stretch that they showed in their previous outings, particularly in their thrilling come-from-behind win over BanKo-Perlas in their rubber match in the semis.

“The problem was we played like we’re not in a championship series,” said Gorayeb. “We lacked backline attack, combinations and struggled at the service box.”

He also noted his wards’ tendency to crack under pressure.

“What I can’t understand is that each time when we’re about to score, somebody would make mistakes, simple errors at that,” Gorayeb pointed out.

Import Tess Rountree outscored her counterparts with 26 hits, including 23 kills, while Grethcel Soltones and Shelby Sullivan combined for 20 points and Jerilli Malabanan chipped in seven markers.

But after leveling the match in the second frame, the High Flyers struggled at endgame of the next two sets, enabling the Cool Smashers to power their way to the victory and a win away from achieving a dream championship in the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.

Setter Jasmine Nabor also got outplayed by counterpart Jia Morado, who produced 32 excellent sets which doubled the former’s output.

But Gorayeb hoped to have delivered the message and expects the High Flyers to come out stronger, fiercer tomorrow.

“I told them that we’re not going to talk about our performance in Game One since they’re old enough to know how they played. But they should focus on the next game and try to get even,” said Gorayeb.