Water Defenders outlast Spikers, inch closer to a semis slot

Mark Escarlote on May 21, 2017 07:04 PM
Water Defenders outlast Spikers, inch closer to a semis slot
BaliPure turned back Perlas in five sets to move a step closer to an outright semis berth.

Not even a sweltering playing condition inside the decades old PhilSports Arena in Pasig City or the gritty fightback of Perlas could stop BaliPure from inching closer to an outright semifinals slot in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.

The Water Defenders exacted revenge on the first team that handed them a loss in the tournament with a, 25-21, 25-23, 16-25, 25-27, 15-10 win Sunday to remain on top of the heap with just two playdates remaining in the preliminary round.

Veteran Thai import Jeng Bualee and American Jennifer Keddy unleashed their blistering firepower to pound the Spikers into submission despite the draining high temperature because of a broken air-conditioning system inside the arena.     

Keddy finished with 24 points whiuke Bualee scored all of her 16 points off attacks for the Water Defenders. Aiko Urdas got 12 points in four sets of action while Risa Sato and Grethcel Soltones chipped in 11 and seven markers, respectively, for BaliPure. 

BaliPure won its second straight game, sweeping its back-to-back assignment for a 6-2 win-loss record. The Water Defenders defeated Air Force in straight sets Saturday.

BaliPure erased an early 3-6 fifth set deficit with a sizzling four-point swing to take the helm, 7-6. Another run gave the Water Defenders a 10-8 cushsion before Perlas again closed the gap to 10-9. Bualee sparked a four-point charge capped by a won joust by Soltones to give BaliPure the matchpoint advantage, 14-9.

Brazilian import Rupia Inck stopped the bleeding for the Spikers with a down the line attack before Soltones sealed the win witth an off speed attack that went off Perlas' defensive wall.       

Still, head coach Roger Gorayeb was far from satisfied with the way his wards played.

“Lamang kami eh, lamang kami sa points kaya lang ang mga bata hindi ko alam kung anong problema doon sa third set naming,” said Gorayeb.

“Isipin mo amin ang first two sets tapos pagdating sa third set talo. Sige na, given, fourth set lamang kami 15-19 eh, 23-20, tapos bumigay na naman. Hindi dapat ganoon kaya nga noong fourth set sabi ko hindi na ako magsasalita, kayo na ang mag-talk among yourselves. You should know what’s your problem. I don’t know what you’re feeling, I don't know what you’re thinking inside but this is a game, we should treat this professionally. This is a club team, this is not a university team,” he added. “We should be responsible enough for all our actions inside (the court).” 

The top two teams after the prelims will advance straight into the best-of-three semis. The squads that will end up at third to sixth spots will play in a round robin quarterfinals with their records reset to 0-0 to decide the last two teams that will advance in the semis.     

Perlas, which defeated BaliPure in five sets in their first meeting, dropped to 5-4 and had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Inck finished with 27 points with 23 coming off kills while Kathy Bersola had 12 for the Spikers. 



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