Lady Warriors, Power Smashers clash in Finals berth decider

Mark Escarlote on Jun 08, 2017 07:39 AM
Lady Warriors, Power Smashers clash in Finals berth decider
Only the hungrier team will own a seat in the Finals when Pocari Sweat and the Power Smashers clash in Game 3 of the best-of-three semis series.

It all boils down to who wants it more.

Pocari Sweat and the Power Smashers go at it one last time Thursday in Game 3 of the best-of-three semifinals series of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The Power Smashers tied the series last Tuesday and are looking to complete a series comeback in their 6:30 p.m. showdown that will air live on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.

The no. 2 seed Power Smashers bounced back from a five-set opening day loss with a daring, 24-26, 22-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-13, escape last against the weary Lady Warriors.

Head coach Nes Pamilar hopes that their morale-boosting win shifted the momentum in their favor. The win also evened their tournament head-to-head to two games apiece.    

“Kailangan lang siguro i-explain sa mga players kung paano talaga (kunin ang series),” said Pamilar, who added that it’s imperative that they control the first ball for them to execute better.

“Talagang nawawalan kami ng first ball. Ang sabi ko nga sa kanila, ‘Bakit parang nawawala ang tiwala n’yo sa pagre-receive? Ayaw na ayaw niyo, masyadong nag-iingat, masyadong natatakot magkamali,’” he added.

Pamilar will bank on his Thai duo of Hyapa Amporn and Kannika Tipachot and local star Jovielyn Prado to finish off Pocari Sweat, which is playing its sixth game in 13 days. 

Fatigue is already taking its toll on the Lady Warriors, who played four five-set matched in their last five games since the round robin quarterfinals.  

But the veteran squad, who won the V-League Open and Reinforced conferences last year is expected to throw an all-out performance with American import Michelle Strizak, who scored 33 points the last time out, and Myla Pablo leading the way.

Pocari Sweat head coach Rommel Abella, just like Pamilar, wants his team to improve on their reception.   

“Still, reception (ang kailangan i-improve),” he said. “We have to be more committed sa receive and lessen our errors pa din.”

The Finals series starts Saturday. The semis losers will play in a best-of-three battle for third.



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