The Akari Chargers fell short against the Cignal HD Spikers in four sets, 25-21, 18-25, 12-25, 18-25, to open their PVL 2024 All-Filipino Conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday night.

Both teams went tit-for-tat in the first set, exchanging blows, with Cignal’s Ces Molina tying the first at 19-all. Akari then found its groove and blasted a 6-2 run capped by a combination play from newcomer Grethcel Soltones to take the opening set.

The chess match continued in the second frame as neither team gave an inch midway through the set with the score knotted at 15. Then, it was the HD Spikers’ turn to go on a 10-3 rally to tie the match at one set apiece.

In the next two sets, the HD Spikers did not take its foot off the gas pedal as it dominated Chargers in the third, and turned them back for good in the fourth.

Soltones led the way for Akari with 14 points, composed of 11 attacks and three blocks, 12 excellent digs, and 13 excellent receptions, while Dindin Santiago-Manabat added 12 markers.

On the other hand, four HD Spikers barged into the double-digit scoring zone. Vanie Gandler spearheaded the attack with 19 points, including 17 attacks, one block, and one ace. Roselyn Doria and former PVL MVP Molina posted 16 points each, while Riri Meneses chipped in 13 markers.

Akari looks to bounce back against defending champions Creamline Cool Smashers on February 29, Thursday, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.