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Soltones boosts Power Hitters past Lady Realtors

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Gretchel Soltones returned with a bang, powering PLDT Home Fibr to a 25-19, 25-19, 25-13 victory over Sta. Lucia in the Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Soltones, the former San Sebastian College star fired from almost all angles to tow the Power Hitters to their first win in this prestigious women’s club tourney.

She fired eight attacks, three aces, a block and eight excellent receptions for 12 points in her first taste of action this conference.

“Gretchel is really a huge factor to the team. Her absence last game created a huge void as we missed her leadership and skills both offensively and defensively,” said PLDT head coach Roger Gorayeb, adding that Soltones was forced to sit out in their previous game against Cignal due to illness.
“But overall, I’m happy with the performance of the whole team since we were able to bounce back from our previous setback.”

Unlike last game, where setters Jasmine Nabor and Gel Cayuna were the top scorers combining for 14 points, the Power Hitters bounced back with Jerrili Malabanan and Jorelle Singh putting up 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Nabor also made up for the team’s poor setting last game as she dished out 18 excellent sets on top of 11 digs and four markers this time.

“I just told them to be consistent all the time regardless of what situation especially now that we won’t have Aiko Urdas for the whole conference,” added Gorayeb as Urdas is still recovering from a knee injury she sustained in practice last conference.

PLDT also missed Shola Alvarez, who was under the weather but it still made quick work of Sta. Lucia, which gave up 25 errors in one hour and 19 minutes of play.

Pam Lastimosa and Amy Ahomiro delivered eight and seven markers, respectively, for the Lad Realtors, who missed the services of Filipino-American spiker MJ Philips.