BaliPure grounds Air Force to kick off PVL campaign
Paul Lintag on Apr 30, 2017 04:56 PM
Gretchel Soltones led the BaliPure offense as the Water Defenders start the new PVL tournament on a high note.
It took a while for them to get going but BaliPure had more than enough to power through against Philippine Air Force.
The Water Defenders opened their campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference by taking down the Lady Jet Spikers in four sets, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21, Sunday at the San Juan Arena.
With former San Sebastian star Gretchel Soltones leading the attack, BaliPure bucked a slow start to cruise past Air Force and win the very first game in the new PVL.
Soltones led Roger Gorayeb's crew with 16 points, 14 coming from attacks, while Risa Sato added 12 for the Water Defenders.
"Nagkakapaan pa sila eh. Although magkakilala naman sila, syempre di mo rin maalis yun [adjustment]," Gorayeb said. "Kanina medyo parang nai-ilang eh. Nagkaka-hiyaan kasi iba na ito eh."
With BaliPure going through a minor adjustment period, the team found an unlikely hero in Jerrili Malabanan as the FEU Lady Tamaraw came in off the bench to provide a scoring punch.
Despite only practicing with the team three times prior to the game, Malabanan came through with 12 points including the game-winning hit in the fourth set.
"Hindi ko pa nga first six si Jerrili kanina eh. Pero na-feel ko lang na pwede na si Jerrili ipasok, naging effective naman," Gorayeb said.
After a fast start in the opening set, Air Force failed to follow through to be on the losing end of its first PVL assignment.
Jocemer Tapic paced the Lady Jet Spikers with 14 points while team captain Joy Cases was the only other player in double digits with 12.
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