PVL Open Day 2 – Myla Pablo magnificent, Ateneo defense impressive

Thursday, 27 Sep 2018
Lawrence Fernandez - Editor - @lancefernandez
Photo courtsey of The Guidon

The Imus Sports Complex played host to PVL Open Conference 2018 action as the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles defeated the Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors in the first game while the BanKo Perlas Spikers remain undefeated in two games by besting the Petro Gazz Angels. Here’s what we learned from this Premier Volleyball League double-header:

Why is Myla Pablo not a part of the National Team?

Once again, Myla Pablo performed magnificently. If she’s doing this with a back problem, what more if she is perfectly healthy? The Tarlac native is great at reading how blockers are set-up against her attacks. Thus, it’s hard to contain the variety and velocity of her spikes. Pablo had 27 scoring spikes against a tall Ateneo net defense and she only needed 58 attempts to do that. In contrast, Ateneo’s Kat Tolentino had 13 out of 52 tries.

Pablo is also excellent on defense by leading the Lady Warriors with 13 excellent digs and 19 receptions. She nearly carried her team to victory especially in the deciding fourth set but fell short due to errors. But despite the loss, an all-around talent like her should wear the national team’s colors in the near future.

Ateneo’s floor defense is shaky but net defense is impressive

It took an Oliver Almadro timeout pep talk before libero Dani Ravena woke up and performed better. But before that, she struggled fielding the ball. She was not the only though as the Ateneo Lady Eagles had only 33 excellent receptions as compared to Pocari Sweat’s 50. Likewise, the Lady Warriors’ reception success rate is at 54.3 percent as compared to the Lady Eagles 40.7.

Excellent digs are also to Pocari’s favor, 68-57. Even the success rate in digs went in favor of Coach Jasper Jimenez’ squad, 50.37% (68/135) to 40.4% (57/141). If not for Pocari’s 36 errors, there’s a good chance that the Lady Eagles might lose this game.

On the other hand, they had the edge in scoring blocks, 11-7. But beyond that number, just imagine the number of spikes they altered just because of their height. Aside from Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon, you have Kat Tolentino and rookie Vanessa Gandler neutralizing their opponents. With a tall and deep rotation, their blocking will be formidable in the coming games and competitions.

Del Palomata is lost, Kat Tolentino is found

Her height is going to waste because she and her coaching staff is unsure where to place her. Because of which, she seemed a step slow in containing Ateneo’s attack and there are times when she had no clue where she should be inside the court. Still, she can be a terrifying presence if only her role will be clearly defined. She is a prototype first middle blocker and her reflexes can be improved.

Meanwhile, it seems that Kat Tolentino is comfortable at opposite spiker by scoring a game-high 19 points (13 spikes, four blocks, two service aces). It also helps that when you are beside dependable spikers in Madayag and De Leon, the opposing team might not have enough personnel to stop you.

BanKo Perlas distributes the ball well

Four players scored in double-figures for the BanKo Perlas Lady Spikers in their opening day game against the Iriga Lady Oragons. They kept that consistency in their second victory in as many games against PetroGazz with Nicole Tiamzon once again leading the way with 16 points. Amanda Villanueva had 15 while Dzi Gervacio and Mary Joy Dacoron added 14 and 10 markers, respectively. For good measure, Amy Ahomiro was just two points shy of double-digits.

As always, a balanced squad like this would be hard to contain even if there are talented blockers on the other end because the attack can come from all places. Efficiency increases with more options as well. Tiamzon connected on 33.3% of her spikes (16/48) while PetroGazz’ Paneng Mercado’s is at 20.6% (7/34).

Perlas digging

BanKo Perlas frustrated the PetroGazz attack by fielding their balls with high efficiency. The Ariel Dela Cruz-coached squad executed 71 excellent digs out of 133 tries. That’s almost 18 times per set that they have extended the rally and possibly score for themselves. PetroGazz did not do bad with 49 digs. But BanKo Perlas’ huge advantage allowed them to neutralize the Angels while racking up the points.