Power Smashers survive Lady Warriors, force semis decider
Mark Escarlote on Jun 06, 2017 06:51 PM
Power Smashers Thai import Kannika Tipachot attempts to save the ball during their Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference best-of-three semifinals series Game 2 against Pocari Sweat.
The Power Smashers saw themselves in the same situation in the series opener of the best-of-three semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference - trailing by two sets.
But this time the Power Smashers completed a comeback to force a decider.
The Thai duo of Kannika Tipachot and Hyapa Amporn powered the Power Smashers to a 24-26, 22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-13 victory that tied the series at 1-1 Tuesday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Tipachot scored 28 points with all but one coming off attacks including the game-clinching drop while Amporn finished with 18 markers anchored on 15 kills and three kill blocks for the Power Smashers. Jovielyn Prado chipped in 17 points.
Drawing momentum from their rally from two sets down, the Power Smashers raced to a 10-6 lead in the fifth but saw it evaporate as the Lady Warriors equalized at 12-12. Pocari Sweat middle Desiree Dadang committed a net touch to surrender the lead to the Power Smashers before making ammends in the next play to tie the frame at 13.
Regine Arocha, who came in off the bench in the third set, played a huge role for the Power Smashers as her off speed attack broke the deadlock before Tipachot sealed the win with a drop on Pocari Sweat libero Mel Gohing's service overreceive.
“Siguro nag-ano lang 'yung pinraktis namin kahapon, tapos 'yung rotation na binago ko, nag-work lang talaga,” said Power Smashers coach Nes Pamilar. “Unang-una, 'yung first set error lang namin, second set parang ganoon rin, nawala ang receive namin. Pero 'yung rotation na pinraktis namin, mas naging effective against Pocari.”
Game 3 is on Thursday. The best-of-three finals series will begin on Saturday.
Pocari Sweat took the series opener, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 22-25, 15-12, last Saturday.
American import Michelle Strizak logged in 33 points - seven points short of her league record - anchored on 29 attacks and four kill blocks for the Lady Warriors. Myla Pablo finished with 20 points while Jeannette Panaga and Cai Nepomuceno had 11 markers each for Pocari Sweat, which threw away 33 points off errors.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles