May 24, 2024

PVL: Shortened Holy Week break pays off for coach Rald Ricafort and PLDT High Speed Hitters

PVL: Shortened Holy Week break pays off for coach Rald Ricafort and PLDT High Speed Hitters
Rald Ricafort took the necessary steps to prepare PLDT’s return from layoff. | Photo (c) PVL

Instead of indulging in an extended period of rest, PLDT made the decision to shorten its Holy Week break before plunging back to action in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference.

Head coach Rald Ricafort recognized the importance of maintaining the competitive edge of the team, asking for the consideration of his wards to return to training on Holy Saturday.

The High Speed Hitters willingly obliged, culminating to a rousing straight-set victory over the Akari Chargers on Tuesday, April 2.

“'Yun lang 'yung hininging sacrfice [ko sa team] na i-shorten 'yung break. Imbis na mag-pahinga kami ng matagal alam namin na capable si Akari so na-shorten, balik kami kaagad ng Saturday. Sorry Lord,” Ricafort shared.

“Bumalik kami ng Saturday para ma-maximize namin 'yung three days before going to this game.”

The High Speed Hitters showed no signs of rust in their return to action, as Majoy Baron and Savi Davison were at the forefront of the attack.

Baron put up a game-high 13 points built on eight attacks, three aces, and two blocks, while Davison flaunted her two-way form to finish with 11 markers and 11 digs.

Erika Santos also made her presence felt with nine points, while Dell Palomata and Fiola Ceballos each scored seven for PLDT, which also strung 14 sets and eight markers from Kim Fajardo.

It was a total team effort for the High Speed Hitters, who have improved to a 6-1 record, tied with Creamline and Choco Mucho atop the standings.

To further bolster their Final Four bid, Ricafort recognizes the need to hone PLDT’s composure and execution in the coming weeks.

“More of execution, given naman. Pero siguro 'yung kung paano namin i-handle 'yung pressure katulad noong Choco Mucho na game. Na mas maging consistent pa kasi nga sa mga games na malalakas 'yung kalaban andoon nalang 'yung laro e, wala na masyado sa skills,” Ricafort said.

To that end, the PLDT tactician plans to field every player available in their upcoming clash against Strong Group Athletics on April 9, Tuesday.

“Siguro 'yung involvement nung ibang members kailangan ma-activate dun sa SGA na game kasi mataas 'yung premium namin sa pag rest sa mga players. So, hindi naman sa maging complacent pero kailangan maging active lahat para magamit sa team,” Ricafort said.