PLDT picked up last season’s top libero Kath Arado from the free agency on Sunday to strengthen its floor defense as it shoots for a big finish in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference tentatively unfurling Feb. 16 in Paco, Manila or Tagaytay.

The High Speed Hitters also brought in middle blocker Jessey de Leon and outside hitter Mean Mendrez, who suited up along with Arado for 2021 third placer Petro Gazz in Bacarra, Ilocos Nore.

Mses. Arado, De Leon and Mendrez will join a few remnants of the team that included Eli Soyud, Chin Basas and Nieza Viray.

They’ve let go of multi-titled coach Roger Gorayeb, Isa Molde, Aiko Urdas, Jorelle Singh, Shola Alvarez and Alyssa Eroa among others.

The Manny V. Pangilinan Group of Companies-owned franchise had also tapped George Pascua in succeeding Gorayeb and changed their moniker with hopes of contending for the championship.

The squad is expected to announce its other recruits soon.

The volleyball community was abuzz with talks that the High Speed Hitters could land popular middle blocker Mika Reyes, who was left without a team after Sta. Lucia Realty disbanded.

The club finished seventh out of 10 with a 3-6 record a season back. — Joey Villar