MANILA, Philippines—PLDT has tapped Rald Ricafort as its new head coach in the Premier Volleyball League.
The High Speed Hitters announced the appointment of Ricafort on Wednesday.
Ricafort, who just steered Petro Gazz to a championship in the PVL Reinforced Conference last month, replaced George Pascua at the helm.
“We at PLDT are excited to work with a young champion coach in Coach Rald,” said PLDT/SMART Head of Sports Jude Turcuato. “We know he can guide our players to the next level.
“We are always looking to improve and get the best out of our team.”
Ricafort, who also calls the shots for the University of the Philippines’ men’s volleyball team and assistant with the women’s squad, is PLDT’s third coach in three seasons after Roger Gorayeb and Pascua.
PLDT and Pascua parted ways after spending just one season together. The High Speed Hitters missed the Final Four in the Invitational Conference, placing sixth in what turned out to be Pascua’s last conference with the team.
Petro Gazz hinted at changes just a few weeks removed from its championship run.
“For those who will no longer be with the Petro Gazz Angels; we wish you all the best of luck. You have our prayers for more success in your future endeavors, and maybe, our paths may cross again someday,” the Angels said in a statement on Monday.
“We in the Petro Gazz Management have always been happy to see former players, coaches and staff go on to make a bigger name for themselves, in whatever they choose to do,” the statement read.
Under Ricafort, Petro Gazz swept the Cignal HD Spikers in two games to capture the Reinforced Conference crown last month.
Arnold Laniog, Ricafort’s assistant at Petro Gazz, also transferred to PLDT to play the same role.
Laniog steered the Angels to their first PVL title in the 2019 Reinforced Conference followed by silver and bronze medal finishes in the Open Conference and in 2021.
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