Water Defenders advance to the Finals, rout Cool Smashers
Mark Escarlote on Jun 08, 2017 05:45 PM
BaliPure secured a spot in the best-of-three Finals.
What was expected to be a tight battle for survival turned out into an emphatic rout as BaliPure bullied its way into the Finals with a 25-18, 25-13, 25-16, Game 3 win over Creamline Thursday in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference best-of-three semifinals at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Water Defenders secured the first best-of-three championship berth, utilizing its height and power to overwhelm the Cool Smashers, who showed little resistance the whole match.
American import Jennifer Keddy wreaked havoc defending the net while Thai reinforcement Jeng Bualee and locals Grethcel Soltones and Risa Sato provided the offensive firepower to finish off Creamline.
Soltones scored 13 points with 11 coming off attacks while Keddy had seven kills, three aces and three kill blocks for BaliPure. Sato and Bualee finished with 10 markers each while Jerrili Malabanan and setter Jasmine Nabor, who dished out 24 excellent sets, had five points each for the Lady Warriors.
BaliPure will take on the survivor between Pocari Sweat and the Power Smashers in the Finals series starting Saturday.
The Water Defenders drew first blood, 22-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-21, last Saturday but the Cool Smashers extended the series with a 24-26, 25-18, 18-25, 25-16, 16-14, win last Tuesday.
“Siyempre masakit para sa amin ‘yung parang banderang kapos kami (nu’ng Game 2). Kami ‘yung nauuna tapos biglang maa-out kami. So kahapon, pinaghandaan namin ‘yung gagawin,” said BaliPure coach Roger Gorayeb. “Kasi ‘yung ginawa nila last time, napaghandaan nila kami ng sobra. Iniba nila ‘yung position nu’ng malaki, so kahapon, pinaghandaan namin ‘yun, pati yung backline nila. Kay Jer (Malabanan) matatapat. Kaya alam na namin na ‘yung pwesto ni Jerrili na ‘yun, doon pupunta ‘yung bola. Napaghandaan lang namin sila.”
BaliPure rained down 41 attacks and played solid net defense with seven kill blocks. The Water Defenders also nailed eight service aces and only gave 12 points off their errors.
Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin scored 14 points while Alyssa Valdez had 13 for the Cool Smashers. American guest player Laura Schaudt was shutdown to only five markers.
Creamline will take on the loser between the Lady Warriors and the Power Smashers in the best-of-three battle for third.
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