FRESH from its stunning conquest of fancied Bureau of Customs, BaliPure shoots for its second straight victory as it clashes with Philippine Air Force today in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena.
But the Water Defenders, backstopped by Americans Kaylee Manns and Kate Morrell, should be wary of the Lady Jet Spikers, who are in dire need of a victory in the 4 p.m. match to boost their Final Four bid.
Fielding in an all-homegrown crew, Air Force lost to University of Santo Tomas and Laoag, but its only win in the tournament came against Pocari Sweat, which like BaliPure also boast of imports from the United States.
After bowing to the Tigresses in their first match, the Water Defenders played much better in last Wednesday’s 26-24, 25-21, 25-21 over the Alyssa Valdez-powered Transformers.
Manns has been solid in delivering the plays for BaliPure’s main hitters Morrell, Dzi Gervacio and Amy Ahomiro.
This will serve as a challenge for the Lady Jet Spikers playmaker Wendy Semana, who needs to match up Manns’ ability to set up the offense.
For Air Force, consistency will be the key to avoid going deeper in the standings.
To rebound from a 25-20, 24-26, 21-25, 24-26 loss to the Power Smashers, skipper Judy Caballejo, Neneng Tapic, Joy Cases, Mary Ann Pantino and Dell Palomata must deliver the goods for the Lady Jet Spikers.
Laoag seeks to tie Customs in second spot as it plays University of the Philippines in the nightcap at 6 p.m.
The Power Smashers, whose roster got a big boost with Grethcel Soltones leading the attack, are currently tied with idle Lady Warriors at 2-1 behind the Transformers’ 3-1 card.
Dealing with health issues, especially with the sidelining of injured setter Mae Basarte, the Lady Maroons have struggled as the Diliman-based spikers could only show a win in four contests in seventh place.