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HomeSportPLDT rues key losses that doomed PVL bid

PLDT rues key losses that doomed PVL bid

PLDT High Speed Hitters against Creamline Cool Smashers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference.

PLDT High Speed Hitters against Creamline Cool Smashers in the PVL All-Filipino Conference. –MARLO CUETO/

PLDT coach Rald Ricafort knew at the top of his mind the crucial games that the High Speed Hitters could’ve won and gotten points from which would have allowed them to move on to the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference semifinals.

“Chery [Tiggo and] Cignal (laughs),” Ricafort told the Inquirer without hesitation after PLDT ended its campaign with a four-set rout of defending champion Creamline but still dropped out of contention after losing in the points system tiebreak to the Cool Smashers.

With Petro Gazz, Choco Mucho and Chery Tiggo occupying the top three places at 9-2, Creamline and PLDT, tied at 8-3 after the eliminations, disputed No. 4 via the league’s points system.

The PVL follows a point system to break ties, and it awards three points to straight- and four-set winners with the losers understandably getting zero. In five-setters, the winner gets two points while the losing team takes a point.

PLDT finished the preliminaries with 23 points. Creamline caught the last slot to the semifinals after collecting 24 points. But PLDT was already one of the top teams in the standings with an 8-1 (win-loss) card—already with 20 points—heading into its last three games.

Then the High Speed Hitters went through that stretch losing to the Crossovers and HD Spikers in lopsided encounters, failing to get a single point. Had they lost both in five-setters, they would have gotten the two points that would have carried them past the Cool Smashers.

“Those [games] were not [how we usually play]. Our loss to Petro Gazz, I get that and they (Angels) are really strong,” he said in Filipino. “But in Cignal and Chery, we were just out of it.”

The High Speed Hitters thus slid to solo fifth, winning just 25 total sets compared to Creamline’s 27.

“What I get frustrated with from time to time is the games where we know our level of play, which if we put to use we can get something out of,” Ricafort said. “It gets lost in some games where we are not mentally ready.”

“We can’t be on-and-off—winning and then losing—if we really want to move on to the semis, we need to beat some of the top teams.”

The points system also proved crucial in the UAAP volleyball tournament, which used the same tiebreaker. The UAAP adheres to the win-over-the-other rule in case of ties for the No. 1 spot but clarified at the end of eliminations that it would also rely on the point system.

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National University and University of Santo Tomas ended the preliminaries with similar 12-2 records but with the Lady Bulldogs having a superior 36 points, it clinched the top seed while the Golden Tigresses followed with 34 points, both armed with twice-to-beat protection in the semifinals that starts on Saturday.

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