PVL: Lady Warriors rise to top spot in quarters
Skipper Myla Pablo connived with reinforcements Ari Love and Maddie Palmer to make sure Pocari Sweat is now at solo first in the round robin quarterfinals
Pocari Sweat-Philippine Air Force took another step forward in making sure its title defense goes through at least the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference.
Dropping the first set before regrouping and resoundingly taking the next three, the Lady Warriors sank Iriga-Navy, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20, and 25-22, on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Reinforcements Maddie Palmer and Ari Love showed the way with 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Skipper Myla Pablo was also right there with them with 14 markers to her name.
The defending champions took time to get going, though, and allowed Macy Ubben and the Lady Oragons to claim the first frame. “Parang diesel (kami). Yun nga, siguro, kailangan muna nilang masaktan siguro,” head coach Jasper Jimenez shared post-game.
From that point, Love took charge and led Pocari Sweat-Air Force to an 8-5 start in the second set that blew up to a lead of as much as eight, 19-11.
Both the lead and the momentum would stay with the Lady Warriors for the remainder of the match.
Pablo and company are now 2-0 in the round robin quarterfinals – putting them closer and closer to the semifinals. “We need two more wins. Siguro, kung makadalawang panalo pa kami, that’s it, semifinals na,” Jimenez said.
Disputing the last two seats in the semifinals along with Pocari-Sweat-Air Force and Iriga-Navy are BaliPure, BanKo-Perlas, Petro Gazz, and Tacloban. “Sana, magtuloy-tuloy ‘tong ganitong performance namin,” Jimenez also remarked.
The Lady Oragons fell to 0-2 in the quarterfinals even after a 27-point performance from Ubben. Lauren Whyte also added 18 markers.
The top two finishers in the round robin quarterfinals will move on to the next round.
Already there are Creamline and PayMaya who secured the top spots in the Final Four after their respective impressive runs in the preliminary round.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.