PVL: Perlas Spikers draw first blood
Mark Escarlote on Jul 01, 2018 06:30 PM
BanKo toppled second seed PayMaya to move a win away from clinching a Finals berth.
BanKo staved off a feisty PayMaya side to engineer a 25-19, 26-28, 25-23, 25-23, and draw first blood in their best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference Final Four series Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Thai import Jutarat Montripila and American Kia Bright showed the way for the Perlas Spikers while the locals provided the much-needed support to push BanKo a step closer to a breakthrough Finals stint.
“Sabi ko lang sa kanila kailangan magtrabaho, we have to earn every point kasi alam naman natin malakas ang PayMaya so I commend my players kasi ‘yung puso nila manalo andoon, nilabas nila ang galing nila,” said Banko coach Dong Dela Cruz.
The Perlas Spikers picked up from where they left off in the quarterfinals as BanKo snatched its eighth straight win and reasserted its mastery over their preliminary round victim, which is coming off a long layoff after clinching the outright semis seat.
Montripila, a former Thailand national team standout, finished with 31 points with all but one coming off kills while Bright had 23 markers for BanKo, which in the inaugural season fell short of advancing in the Final Four.
Nicole Tiamzon had nine points for the Perlas Spikers, who rained down 62 attack points.
After yielding the tight second set, BanKo needed to hang tight in the next two frames to dismiss the High Flyers.
The Perlas Spikers saw its 16-9 lead in the fourth set evaporate with PayMaya tying the frame at 23.
Montripila pushed BanKo at match point before BanKo middle Joy Dacoron’s denial on Grethcel Soltones to seal the match.
American Tess Rountree ended her day with 31 points in a lost cause for PayMaya. Soltones had 16 markers while Shelby Sullivan was limited to only eight.
Game 2 is on Wednesday.
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