THE PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters and Cignal HD Spikers have had it rough in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference but both are looking to finish their respective campaigns on a high note and have something to build on moving forward.
PLDT and Cignal are currently at joint eighth place with identical 1-6 records and are out of contention. Both have two games left to play in the elimination round.
The Roger Gorayeb-coached Power Hitters took seven games before they finally notched their first victory in the Open Conference, a straight-sets win over the Perlas Spikers on Aug. 1.
Mr. Gorayeb admitted the relative “inexperience” of his team has had hand in their tough campaign, but he was quick to point out they are not using it as an excuse.
“We can attribute our showing to inexperience,” the coach was quoted as saying by the official PVL website.
“But we cannot, and should not, use that as an excuse. We are professionals, and we are a team, and we are expected to perform our task. We’re not going to make excuses,” he added.
PLDT is the second-youngest team in the PVL right now with an average age of 24.9. The Balipure Water Defenders are the youngest at 22.4.
The Power Hitters, as of this writing, are playing Balipure and are to finish their campaign on Friday against Cignal at 7 p.m.
Moving forward, Mr. Gorayeb said they will first assess their performance in the Open Conference and then make changes to their roster as they see fit.
“We’ll assess everything after this tournament and hopefully, we could improve on things we lacked here,” he said.
Cignal, for its part, is out to finish strong in the tournament, where it actually had a promising start.
The HD Spikers opened with a 1-1 record in their first two matches before dropping its next five assignments.
“On our part, we just have to accept how things went for us and be responsible for it,” Cignal coach Shaq Delos Santos told the league website in Filipino.
“We are a team in transition, but we have been showing improvement throughout the tournament and we just have to continue our development and work on what we want to achieve,” he added.
Following their game versus PLDT on Friday, the HD Spikers wrap up things against the Black Mamba-Army Lady Troopers on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, the PVL has restructured its schedule and is set to finish the Open Conference next week.
The move came after consultations with the local government of Ilocos Norte, where the PVL “bubble” is being held, in line with its plans to implement a stricter quarantine setup for the whole province because of the rising cases of the coronavirus.
The elimination round now ends on Saturday, Aug. 7, instead of Aug. 9.
The best-of-three semifinal action begins right away on Aug. 8 and will be played every day. The race-to-2 finals affair then follows a day after the completion of the semifinal series. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo