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Pocari Sweat downs BaliPure

  • Written by Theodore P. Jurado
  • Published in Volleyball
  • Read: 300

Games Wednesday:

(Philsports Arena)

12:30 p.m. – Champion vs PAF (Spikers)

4 p.m. – BaliPure vs PCG (V-League)

6 p.m. – UST vs Pocari Sweat (V-League)

AMERICAN guest player Bre Mackie delivered the key hits in the fourth set as Pocari Sweat downed BaliPure,  25-16, 12-25, 25-21, 25-19, to move closer to  securing the No. 1 seed in the semifinals of the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference yesterday at the Philsports Arena.
   
Mackie broke the game’s last deadlock at 13-13 with a kill that ended a super long rally between the Lady Warriors and the Water Defenders.
   
It was Mackie who also gave Pocari Sweat a five-point buffer, 18-13, which BaliPure never got to overcome.
    
The showdown was the first between the two teams since the Lady Warriors eliminated the Water Defenders in the Open Conference semifinals, where coach Rommel Abella treated it as a do-or-die game even of there was nothing at stake except the placings for the semis.
   
“I reminded the players last night (Friday) that since we are already in at alam na natin kung sino ang nasa Top 4, we treat it as the start of the playoffs. Good thing nag-respond sila,” said Abella. “From the start, wala na kaming tinatago. What you see is what you get sa team namin.”
   
Pocari Sweat posted its fifth straight win after opening the conference with a five-set loss to Philippine Air Force to join idle University of Santo Tomas in first place.
   
The Lady Warriors and the Tigresses, the lone collegiate team and without a foreign guest player in the semis, dispute the No. 1 ranking at the end of the elimination round on Wednesday.
   
“We will push for the No. 1 spot but UST will give us a good fight,” said Abella on playing against his alma mater.
   
Mackie finished with 23 points, including two blocks, Myla Pablo added 11 points and 12 digs while Fil-Am setter Iris Tolenada tossed in 41 excellent sets for Pocari Sweat.
   
BaliPure fell at 4-2 in third place and will wrap up its elimination stint against winless Philippine Coast Guard  on Wednesday.
   
Kate Morrell came through with 21 points, including three service aces and two blocks, Suzanne Roces added 10 hits and nine digs, while Charo Soriano had eight points, including three service aces, for the Water Defenders.
   
Dzi Gervacio and Amy Ahomiro, BaliPure’s  main offensive options aside from Morrell, were limited to eight and six points, respectively.
   
In the Spikers’ Turf, Kheeno Franco and Daryl Valenzuela combined for 26 points and Instituto Estetico Manila pounced on Philippine Army’s 45 errors to carve out a 25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 22-25, 15-10 win and clinch the remaining Final Four berth by improving its record at 3-2.
   
Cignal defeated 100 Plus, 25-19, 25-14, 25-16, to finish the eliminations in second place with a 4-1 slate.