Lady Warriors go for the jugular, Power Smashers fight for survival
Mark Escarlote on Jun 06, 2017 09:37 AM
Pocari Sweat guns for the first championship seat.
Pocari Sweat looks to finish off the no. 2 seed Power Smashers on Tuesday to clinch the first championship berth in Game 2 of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference best-of-three semifinals at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Lady Warriors get their first shot to close the series in their 4:00 p.m. duel that will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.
With the combined efforts of American import Michelle Strizak, Myla Pablo and Jeannette Panaga, Pocari Sweat survived a hard fought five-set encounter with the Power Smashers, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 22-25, 15-12, last Saturday to move a step closer to a best-of-three Finals berth.
The Lady Warriors, who won the Open and Reinforced conferences of the V-League last year, are wary of the Power Smashers’ ability to comeback. That is why head coach Rommel Abella wants his wards to treat the game as a do-or-die match and with sense of urgency.
“It’s very important (to immediately close the series) ‘coz alam naman natin they’re more than capable of coming back,” said Abella, whose squad swept the round robin quarterfinals to advance in the semis. “So kailangan namin ma-close out na kaagad on Tuesday.”
Coming off a tiring route to the semis after falling short for an outright semis spot at the end of the preliminary round in a tiebreak against the Power Smashers, the Lady Warriors not only hope to finish the semis early but are also praying to get an extra day of rest.
“Hope na mag-Game 3 ‘yung other semifinals game (of BaliPure and Creamline) para magkaroon kami ng extra day rest,” said Abella. “Very, very important sa part namin ang extra day off kung mananalo na kami sa Tuesday.”
Aside from Strizak, Pablo and Panaga, Pocari Sweat is also leaning on Desiree Dadang, who had a monster seven kill block performance the last time out, Cai Napomuceno, Elaine Kasilag and star libero Mel Gohing.
But the Power Smashers want to write a different script.
The Power Smashers are expected to come out firing on all cylinders to extend the series to a decider on Thursday.
Thai imports Kannika Tipachot and Hyapa Amporn need to get more support from the locals led by Jovielyn Prado, Dimdim Pacres, Andrea Marzan and Regine Arocha to keep their Finals hopes alive.
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