Water Defenders punch an outright semifinals ticket

Mark Escarlote on May 23, 2017 08:56 PM
Water Defenders punch an outright semifinals ticket
BaliPure advanced in the best-of-three semifinals outright after a five-set marathon win over Creamline.

BaliPure came back from a set down to turn back upset-conscious Creamline, 20-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-18, 15-7, Tuesday night and formally clinched the first outright semifinals berth in the inaugural Premier Volleyballl League at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.  

American reinforcement Jennifer Keddy and Thai import Jeng Bualee once again powered the Water Defenders' offense and got plenty of help from the locals to push BaliPure to a 7-2 win-loss slate. The Water Defenders kept their tight hold of the lead.

Keddy tallied 18 points coming off 14 attacks, two aces and a pair kill blocks while Bualee registered 15 points. Filipino-Japanese Risa Sato had 16 points for BaliPure while Grethcel Soltones had eight.

Nagpapasalamat (na nakapasok kami sa semis). ‘Yung takbo ng laro kanina, pagod na pagod na ‘yung mga bata kasi sobra na ‘yung pagod ng mga bata nu’ng Sunday,” said BaliPure head coach Roger Gorayeb, whose squad's last assignment is against the Power Smashers on Thursday. “Kita naman kay Jeng wala masyadong laman ‘yung palo. Salamat makakapagpahinga na ng mahaba. Sunud-sunod ang laro namin eh.”

The 33-year-old Bualee turned back the hands of time as she sparked the torrid scoring run of the Water Defenders that broke open a 3-3 start of the fifth frame to an 11-5 advantage. Creamline American import Laura Schaudt stopped the bleeding but Bualee and Jerrili Malabanan answered with two straight points for a 13-6 lead.

Alyssa Valdez, who came off the bench late in the second set, scored on the next play. Risa Sato scored on a quick play to push BaliPure at match point before Soltones sealed the deal with a solid hammer that went off the hands of Valdez.        

The quarterfinals-bound Creamline absorbed its second straight loss for a 3-6 slate.      

Kaewpin carried most of the Cool Smashers' scoring load with 26 points while Schaudt got 16 markers.

Jema Galanza and Pau Soriano scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, for Creamline. Valdez had only two points while Francesca Racraquin, who was converted from outside hitter to libero, had 18 digs and eight excellent receptions.

Creamline will close the prelims on Thursday against Perlas.



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