Soltones leads Smart in debut win
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 30, 2018 06:12 PM
Smart announced its arrival in the PSL with a resounding straight sets win over Sta. Lucia.
Smart flirted with disaster before escaping Sta. Lucia, 25-20, 25-19, 25-23, to kick off its campaign in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference Tuesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
After a long hiatus, Grethcel Soltones announced her arrival in style as she provided the spark for the Giga Hitters.
Soltones, the former San Sebastian College star, delivered a game-high 17 points to practically dominate the spike department.
“I’m very happy to be back after one year,” said Soltones, who was part of the national team that saw action in the AVC Asian Women’s Cup early this month.
“We’re very happy to play in a high-level tournament.”
Meanwhile, defending champion Petron Blaze Spikers crushed the young Cocolife squad, 25-18, 25-15, 25-18, in the other match.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas finished with 14 points while Ces Molina, who recovered from a stress fracture injury to contribute 10 markers and 14 digs for the Blaze Spikers.
Cocolife's Filipino-American recruit Kalei Mau debuted with 13 points and 11 digs.
Smart broke loose from a, 19-all, contest in the third set as it scored five straight points to reach match point, 24-19.
Sta. Lucia threatened within one, 23-24, but Soltones launched a powerful attack for the game-winner.
Smart coach Roger Gorayeb, who’s also back in the league after five years, played down their rousing start.
“I’m happy with the win, we’ve prepared for this and I want all of my players to gain confidence as early as today,” he said.
Team captain Pam Lastimosa finished with eight points for Sta. Lucia, which is marching in this tourney with a couple of key players in sickbay, including Chin Basas and Filipino-American star MJ Philips.