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PLDT drubs Akari to stay atop of PVL standings

MANILA, Philippines – The PLDT High Speed Hitters may have found their last, and possibly biggest, piece of the championship puzzle they have long sought for.

She is named Kim Fajardo.

The battle-scarred 30-year-old setter came through with another all-around effort as she helped lift PLDT to a 25-17, 25-20, 25-19 drubbing Akari Tuesday to leapfrog to the top alongside powerhouse Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at the PhilSports Arena.

Fajardo did almost everything as she dished out 14 excellent sets while chipping in eight hits including a pair of torpedo-like service aces in powering the High Speed Hitters to their sixth win in seven outings, which was good for a place at the helm.

Apart from her marauding attacking presence, Fajardo may have brought along a quality that PLDT has been eyeing for so long — championship culture.

After all, Fajardo came from a La Salle team that won two UAAP championships and three more from the defunct F2 Logistics Cargo Movers in the disbanded Philippine Superliga.

Majoy Baron, Fajardo’s teammate at F2, was at her best and paced her squad with 13 points while Savannah Davison scattered 11 hits while helping in the floor defense with a team-high 11 receptions.

But none shone the brightest than Fajardo, whose arrival helped turn things around for the better for an ambitious franchise seeking a place in the sun.

For PLDT coach Rald Ricafort, this helps them prime up for their last three elimination-round games against three title-contending clubs — Chery Tiggo, Cignal and Creamline.

“Panalo kailangan namin makuha dahil sa dulo, last three games, andun mabibigat na kalaban,” said Ricafort, whose team had to cut short its Lenten break to prepare for this match.

“Thankful makakabuwelo kami going into those games na mahihirap,” he added.

The Chargers stumbled to 2-5.