Water Defenders out to finish off Cool Smashers
Mark Escarlote on Jun 06, 2017 09:45 AM
BaliPure marches into battle with a mission to complete a semis sweep against Creamline.
Top seed BaliPure is going all-out to secure a spot in the Finals.
The powerhouse Water Defenders march into their 6:30 p.m. battle against Creamline looking to complete a sweep of the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference semifinals at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The match will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.
BaliPure came back from a set down to draw first blood against the Cool Smashers, 22-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-21, last Saturday and to move a step closer for a slot in the best-of-three championship series.
American import Jennifer Keddy poured in 24 points while Risa Sato and Grethcel Soltones backed her up with good offensive contributions for the Water Defenders in the series opener. Thai import Jeng Bualee is expected to come out on top form after being slowed down by a right shoulder injury the last time out for BaliPure.
The Roger Gorayeb-mentored squad is again relying on the explosive trio to give the club its first championship stint after a couple of Final Four finishes in the V-League last year.
“I told them that all games ay parang Finals na sa amin. I want to give BaliPure its first championship, their first finals appearance kasi last year (V-League) semifinals lang din sila despite the fact na nandoon ang mga players,” said Gorayeb. “Gusto ko sila bigyan kasi they are the ones that are supporting volleyball, this competition so might as well give them something na hindi sila umalis dito, na di sila madala.”
But the multi-titled mentor, who will also bank on Jerrili Malabanan, libero Lizlee Ann Gata-Pantone and setter Jasmine nabor, doesn’t want to put too much pressure on his wards.
“We’ll just take the game the normal way. I don’t want to put pressure (on them) na ‘O kailangan manalo tayo’,” he said.
Gorayeb wants his team to put the pressure on Creamline.
With their backs against the wall, the Cool Smashers have no room for error.
Super star Alyssa Valdez, Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and American reinforcement Laura Schaudt have to bring their A-game to lead Creamline back in the series.
But it is easier said than done with the Cool Smashers down 0-3 against BaliPure in their tournament head-to-head.
Game 3, if necessary, is on Thursday.
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