MANILA, Philippines — Savannah Davison admitted she was surprised by the passion of the fans for volleyball but relished her opportunity to trace her Filipino roots and help PLDT in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference.
After losing to Cignal in front of 14,000 fans at Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, Davison led the High Speed Hitters to the win column after dropping 19 points to tow the Akari Chargers, 25-16, 25-16, 25-23.
“I think the first game definitely took me by surprise. The fans are amazing, so supportive, but when you come from somewhere else it looks different. So I’m glad that I’m all acclimated, I’m used to it now,” said the Filipino-Canadian spiker on Thursday at FilOil EcoOil Centre.
“I just kind of went into this game as calm as I could be so I feel like when a team’s calm, we’ll do great so I think it’s good.”
Davison, the PLDT’s newest recruit, drilled 14 attacks including the game-winning spike to go with three blocks and two aces. She also had seven digs and six excellent receptions to help her team improve to a 1-1 record.
The 24-year-old High Speed Hitter said the game may be the same but she was amazed by the love of the Filipinos for PVL.
“I try to come here saying that it’s the same game, right? It’s the passion of the game that changes. It’s how it’s coached, it’s how it’s played. When you think about it too much, it becomes complex. I think the support here is more than I can imagine but that’s why the game has gotten so far in the Philippines,” Davison said.
“I don’t think the girls would be where they are today without the fans so just the support of the community, the love for the game and the passion. I think that’s the big thing that stands out here in the Philippines and it’s good to go down here to play.”
Rhea Dimaculangan dished out 15 excellent sets, as Dell Palomata had 13 points including two blocks, while Erika Santos and Royse Tubino added 12 and 11 markers.
Davison, who played in the US NCAA Division 1 for University of Oklahoma and New Mexico University, said she always communicates with her teammates and coach Rald Ricafort to help her adjust to the style of play and culture in the PVL.
“It’s a lot of communication, I ask him [coach Rald] maybe 10 questions a day, more than that maybe. I think the depth of it, me coming in a little bit later than the other girls, changed a lot. The more time I spent with the girls the easier it gets,” she said.
“The more questions I ask, the easier it gets. He’s been super supportive and communicative throughout the whole process and I think that’s been the base of making it easy. I ask the questions that I can to understand the system here, the culture here, the way PLDT plays and where they wanna be.”
After stunning F2 Logistics in five sets, the Chargers were sent back crashing down to earth by Davison’s onslaught as Faith Nisperos and Dindin Santiago-Manabat carried their team with 11 and 10 points, respectively, only to drop to a 1-1 record.
Davison believes that the sky is the limit for her and the High Speed Hitters this conference.
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“The roof is to the sky. There’s really no limit to what we’re gonna do come Game 3, Game 4 so I’m really excited to just spend more time with the girls. I feel like the more we play together, the more we get to know each other,” she said. “We’re just gonna take it day by day, work hard day in and day out, and whatever we put in, we put out and I’m really excited to see where that gets us.”