Water Defenders force rubbermatch, defeat Cool Smashers in 5

Mark Escarlote on Aug 06, 2017 09:34 PM
Water Defenders force rubbermatch, defeat Cool Smashers in 5
Risa Sato of BaliPure tests the defense of Creamline's Pau Soriano.

BaliPure stretched its best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Open Conference semifinals series against Creamline to a deciding match after pulling off a thrilling 25-19, 19-25, 25-16, 18-25, 15-13, win in Game 2 Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Water Defenders showed nerves of steel in the fifth frame, shattering an 11-11 tie with a 4-2 closing run capped by a quick attack by Risa Sato to hand the Cool Smashers their first defeat after winning eight straight games.

Aiko Urdas, Grethcel Soltones, Sato and Jerrili Malabanan delivered the much-needed offense while Jasmine Nabor was steady in her playmaking to keep BaliPure’s Finals hopes alive. BaliPure dropped a five-set match Saturday in the series opener.

Game 3 is on Wednesday.

Urdas finished with 19 points in an all-around offensive perfomance with 13 kills, three kill blocks and three aces for the Water Defenders. Malabanan had 15 markers, Soltones chipped in with 12 while Sato had 10. 

Nabor dished out 50 excellent sets and scored six points including four from kill blocks for BaliPure.  

Down, 7-8, in the fifth frame, the Water Defenders answered with four straight points with a help from Creamline's three consecutive miscues for an 11-8 lead. The Cool Smashers mounted a rally to tie it at 11 capped by a service ace from Ging Balse-Pabayo.

Malabanan scored on a crosscourt hit followed by a Nabor kill block on Rosemarie Vargas for a 13-11 advantage. After a service error by Macy Mendiola, Malabanan pushed BalIPure at match point with another cross.

Urdas smashed her hit straight to the net but Sato connived with Nabor in the final play to stun the Alyssa Valdez-less Cool Smashers.            

Pau Soriano finished with 19 points anchored on 17 hits while Cesca Racraquin and Vargas had 14 and 10 markers, respectively, for Creamline.



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