Lady Warriors shoot for last outright semis seat
Mark Escarlote on May 25, 2017 09:22 AM
Pocari Sweat is on the hunt for the remaining outright semis berth.
Pocari Sweat aims for the last outright semifinals berth in a rematch against skidding Philippine Air Force Thursday to close the preliminary round of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Warriors, who hold a 6-3 win-loss record, will march in their 1:00 p.m. battle looking to follow early semifinalist and league-leading BaliPure (7-2). The match will air via livestream.
Pocari Sweat will play sans Bosnian import Edina Selimovic and local star Myla Pablo. Selimovic will miss the rest of the season because of a right hamstring tear that cut her first Philippine stint short while Pablo is expected to skip another match to rest an aggravated back injury she sustained against BaliPure a week ago.
The Lady Warriors are coming off a 25-21, 18-25, 20-25, 13-25, loss at the hands of Creamline last Saturday that snapped their six-game winning streak and spoiled their first try to advance in the best-of-three semis outright.
But Pocari Sweat is favored to once again get back on the winning track after shooting down the Jet Spikers in an emphatic fashion, 25-22, 25-14, 25-22, in their meeting.
With the absence of Pablo and Selimovic, the Lady Warriors will bank on American reinforcement Michelle Strizak and locals Elaine Kasilag, Jeanette Panaga, Cai Nepomuceno, Jessey De Leon and veteran libero Mel Gohing to hold the fort.
Air Force lost its last seven games to remain at the cellar with a 1-8 card.
The Jet Spikers will rely on Thai guest player Patcharee Saengmuang, Joy Cases, May Ann Pantino, Jocemer Tapic and Iari Yongco to stop their slump and bring momentum going to the dangerous quarterfinals where the teams that will end the prelims at no. 3 to no. 6 will battle in another round robin format for the last two semis seats.
Meanwhile, Philippine Air Force (3-1) shoots to secure the semifinals top spot against winless Café Lupe (0-4) in the men’s division at 10:00 a.m.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles