Despite having little practice, the PayMaya HighFlyers triumphed in their Premier Volleyball League debut, out-gunning the Tacloban Fighting Warays, 25-8, 33-31, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

After dominating the first set, the HighFlyers ran into a snag in the second frame. After re-deploying most of their starters, PayMaya avoided a late meltdown thanks to late conversions from imports Tess Rountree and Shelby Sullivan.

According to head coach Roger Gorayeb, their rusty play was a manifestation of their short preparation time. Gorayeb admitted that they only practiced as a complete team last Friday.

“Siyempre ‘yung mga galing FEU, kailan lang natapos season nila,” shared the multi-titled tactician. “So medyo nagkakapaan pa ‘yung ibang players. Pero maganda pa rin ‘yung nilaro ng mga bata kasi maayos ‘yung libero (Lizlee Gata-Pantone) at setter (Jasmine Nabor) namin.”

Nabor tossed 24 excellent sets while Pantone added 16 digs and seven excellent receptions. Rountree led PayMaya with 22 points while Sullivan finished with 15.

“This is an excellent character-building win for our squad,” said PayMaya team executive Raymund Villanueva. “What an exciting way to kick off the season and the PayMaya sports program. The HighFlyers lived up to its name and captured the spirit of the PayMaya brand. We invite volleyball fans to support the PayMaya HighFlyers. Fly high and good win! But the journey will only get tougher as we face one of the favorites in the tournament next.”

The HighFlyers (1-0) will take on early-season favorite Creamline (1-0) on Saturday in Tuguegarao. #FlyHighPayMaya


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