PVL: Motolite sends Water Defenders packing
Mark Escarlote on Jun 22, 2019 04:43 PM
Motolite kept its Final Four hopes alive with a five-set win over BaliPure.
Motolite needed some time to heat up to hurdle BaliPure, coming back from two sets down and a tight fifth set windup to show the Water Defenders the exit door, 23-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-14, 15-12, in the Final Four race on Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Imports Channon Thompson and Krystle Esdelle of Trinidad and Tobago connived in the closing stretch of the fifth set for Motolite’s third win in eight games at solo fourth spot.
Thompson scored 27 points off 22 attacks, three kill blocks and two aces to lead Motolite, which stayed alive in the race for the last two semis berth. Thompson added eight dis and 15 excellent receptions while Esdelle got 24 markers including 20 from kills for Motolite.
"We’re happy and relieved. It speaks of our team’s character and resilience," said Thompson as Motolite won the first of its back-to-back weekend schedule.
Aie Gannaban and Isa Molde scored seven each while Myla Pablo finished with four markers in just one set of action for Motolite, which will take on slumping BanKo on Sunday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.
Motolite broke an 8-8 deadlock in the fifth frame with Thompson and Esdelle firing away for a 13-10 lead. Montenegrin Danijela Dzakovic answered with back-to-back hits to cut the Water Defenders' deficit to one before Esdelle pushed Motolite at match point. Grazielle Bombita surrendered the match after her attack went short.
The Water Defenders drew first blood after coming back from 22-23 down in the first set with a closing three-point swing capped by Slovenian Alexandra Vajdova's kill block on Esdelle.
BaliPure just like in the first frame went down, 18-19, before blasting a 5-1 scoring spurt for a 23-20 advantage after Danijela Dzakovic of Montenegro pounded a hit. Motolite scored back-to-back but Dzakovic stopped the bleeding with a hit. Satrianni Espiritu was called for a net touch before Bombita sealed the set with an off the block hit.
BaliPure dropped its eighth straight game and remained winless in the import-laden conference.
Dzakovic had 18 points with 16 off attacks while Bombita and and Vajdova socred 15 and 12, respectively, for the Water Defenders in a losing cause.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles