The Smart Giga Hitters eke out a 25-16, 18-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11 victory against Cocolife Asset Managers for their second win in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All Filipino Conference, Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Center.
The Giga Hitters escaped the pesky Asset Managers to arrest a two-game losing skid and improved to a win-loss 2-2 record.
Dropping the tight fourth set, Grethcel Soltones and Czarina Carandang steered the Giga Hitters as they maintained a four-point blitz in the decider to avoid an upset.
After a dismal opening set, the Asset Managers showed signs of life, snatching two sets off Kalei Mau’s heroics before finally succumbing to Smart.
Soltones tallied a triple-double outing as she dropped 17 markers built on 15 kills, a block and an ace while helping the defense with 16 digs and 25 excellent receptions.
Czarina Carandang finished 13 hits while Jer Malabanan and Joyce Sta. Rita addee 10 hits apiece for Smart.
Mau’s 25-point eruption off 21 kills and four blocks laced with 15 digs and 27 excellent receptions went for naught as Cocolife absorbed their fourth loss in as many outings.
Smart registered more kills (63-53) and digs (101-92), but Cocolife had more blocks (5-10) and receptions (50-58).
The Giga Hitters take on Generika Ayala Lifesavers at 2 p.m. while the Asset Managers look to break into the win column against Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
COCOLIFE’S MIDDLE BLOCKERS
Mau, the powerful hitter that she is, can’t do it from the wings alone. But Cocolife’s middle blockers were outperformed by Smart’s, thus giving Mau a heavier load. Shannen Palec and Arianne Angustia only registered a combined 18-point output.
Cocolife’s MBs are much needed on this match. They need to atleast soften the attacks of the Giga Hitters so Denden could make a perfect reception, middle should also be the first option when the reception is nice. They could be a good decoy for the wingers. #PSLonESPN5 #PSLAFC
— Petron Blaze Fans 💪 (@Blazespikers_) November 15, 2018
LIBERO BATTLE: FALCON VERSUS EAGLE
Two of the country’s best libero in Tatan Pantone of Smart and Denden Lazaro of Cocolife displayed their exceptional defensive skills anew. Pantone had 30/38 digs and 21 excellent receptions on a 61.76 percent success rate, while Lazaro tallied 28/39 digs laced with 16 excellent receptions off 66.67 percent success rate.
Oh boy, look at how beautiful this Lazaro-Pantone match up today. I really admire these amazing liberos. Really, they are the most under appreciated position in volleyball. But not for me, because they are all incredible. 💙 @SuperLigaPH#PSLAFC #PSLonESPN5
— Lai. 🌸 (@Lalalalaizaaaa) November 15, 2018
GORAYEB’S RESPECT FOR LAZARO
Lazaro’s brilliant performance didn’t go unnoticed by her former mentor Roger Gorayeb. Playing under Gorayeb’s wings during her collegiate stint in Ateneo, the former Lady Eagle sure has earned Gorayeb’s respect.
— Wagner (@fjescorpuz) November 15, 2018
(Image from PSL)