4 p.m. -- BaliPure vs UST (3rd Place)
6 p.m. -- Pocari Sweat vs BOC (Finals, Game 2)
POCARI Sweat hopes to deliver the knockout punch against Bureau of Customs, seeking to complete this season’s Shakey’s V-League golden double.
Unless the Transformers come up with an antidote to their foes’ solid blocking, the Lady Warriors could well be on their way to hurdling the last stumbling block leading to a grand maiden season tonight at 6 p.m. at the Philsports Arena.
American Bre Mackie and skipper Michelle Gumabao unleashed a pair of 13-hit games as Pocari Sweat carved out a surprisingly easy 25-22, 25-18, 25-18 romp over Customs in last Saturday’s opener.
Desiree Dadang and the Lady Warriors’ other American guest player Kay Kacsits accounted for eight of their team’s 15 blocks that virtually silenced the fancied Alyssa Valdez, who was held to just 12 points, and the rest of the Transformers.
“Our strength is really in blocking. We know it’s our ticket to the championship,” said Pocari Sweat coach Rommel Abella. “Our floor defense will only react on how our blocking will go. Good thing, both worked in Game One.”
The Lady Warriors will be gunning not only for their 10th straight win in the season-ending conference but also for the championship to follow up their Open Conference conquest.
Pocari Sweat has not tasted defeat since dropping a five-setter over Philippine Air Force last Oct. 5.
A Customs victory will force a sudden death on Wednesday at the same Pasig venue.
But with the way the Lady Warriors are playing -- and blocking -- the Transformers will have to transform into one mean attacking team and break into their opponents’ defensive wall.
“The only thing that will prevent us from winning this championship is complacency. If we stay focused and not be overconfident, we’ll get this,” said Gumabao, the charismatic Pocari Sweat skipper.
The Lady Warriors actually didn’t only neutralize Valdez, who has yet to win a title in any tournament this year, but also Thai reinforcement Kanjana Kuthaisong, who struggled for just eight hits, herself failing to pierce into their rivals solid blocking.
With its net defense holding, Pocari Sweat virtually saw no need to step up its attack, settling to match Customs’ 30 spikes with Kacsits and Dadang chipping in seven hits apiece and Myla Pablo slowing down with just six points.
Still, coach Sherwin Meneses is expected to come up with major adjustments on their offense with Valdez and the rest of the Transformers raring to mount another comeback.
Customs hope to duplicate its semifinals run, the way they did in battling from 0-1 down to frustrate BaliPure.
“We know that Customs will fight back but in our preparations the last few days, I can see the fire in my players’ eyes,” said Abella.
Meanwhile, the Water Defenders also eye a sweep of University of Santo Tomas in their battle for the bronze medal at 4 p.m. with BaliPure tipped to duplicate last Saturday’s 19-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-18 Game 1 win.