PVL: De Guzman, Ultra Fast Hitters ready for tough grind against HD Spikers
Mark Escarlote on Jun 30, 2018 11:59 PM
Well, yes, tinalo namin sila nu’ng semis pero hindi nangangahulugan ‘yon na magiging kampante kami, especially ngayon semifinals -- PLDT Home Fibr team captain John Vic De Guzman
The last time PLDT Home Fibr team captain John Vic De Guzman faced defending champion Cignal, the prized scorer together with another power-hitter Mark Alfafara held their ground to topple a star-studded Cignal squad.
De Guzman and Alfafara, both members of the national team that saw action in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, displayed their full arsenal to outgun the Marck Espejo-bannered HD Spikers in four sets.
The win helped PLDT get the monkey of its back after a disappointing start in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference men’s division.
Crossing paths once again and this time with the Finals berth at stake, De Guzman and the Ultra Fast Hitters hope to reassert their mastery over the reigning titlists at the start of their best-of-three series Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Action begins at 10:00 a.m.
PLDT may have scored an upset over Cignal the last time out but their prelims victory won’t matter much in this battle with too much at stake.
“Sa preparation talagang nag-focus kami sa team. Of course pinractice namin kung ano yung mga possible play ng Cignal,” said De Guzman, who had 21 points in PLDT’s 25-20, 26-24, 26-28, 25-23 win over the HD Spikers last May 20 in Batangas.
“Well, yes, tinalo namin sila nu’ng semis pero hindi nangangahulugan ‘yon na magiging kampante kami, especially ngayon semifinals, talagang paghahandaan nila kami. Ganon din kami mas pinaghandaan namin at mas nag-double time kami para mas maging maayos ‘yung flow nu’ng team,” added De Guzman, who had plenty of help from Alfafara in their win over Cignal where the former University of Sto. Tomas standout unleashed 29 point with 26 coming off kills.
Cignal claimed the outright Final Four berth while PLDT took the long road to advance in the semis. The HD Spikers are coming off a long layoff.
The Ultra Fast Hitters won their first two matches in the round robin quarterfinals only to lose in their last outing against Philippine Air Force to land at no. 4 seed.
Despite coming off a loss, PLDT remains optimistic of its chances.
“Ang pinaka key lang namin is ‘yung teamwork. We all know na champion team sila at ilang conferences na silang magkakasama sa isang team unlike us talaga na binunot sa iba’t ibang universities but then again hindi naman magiging hadlang yon para mawalan kami ng kumpiyansa,” said De Guzman. “Malaki ang tiwala ko sa PLDT team especially sa coaches, and I know may purpose si God whatever will be the result of the game.”
Game 2 of the series is on July 4 while Game 3, if needed, is on July 6.
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