PVL: Water Defenders stun Lady Jet Spikers in 5 sets
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 06, 2019 06:39 PM
(Photo: Josh Albelda)
Creamline 12 - 0
PetroGazz 9 - 2
Motolite 7 - 5
*BanKo-Perlas 7 - 5
PacificTown-Army 6 - 6
Air Force 5 - 7
Choco Mucho 6 - 7
BaliPure 4 - 10
*Chef’s Classics 0 - 14
*Playing at presstime
4 p.m. – PetroGazz vs Motolite
6 p.m. – BanKo-Perlas vs Choco Mucho
Out of the semifinal race, BaliPure put up one big fight worthy of a crack for a spot in post-season play of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, stunning playoff contender Air Force, 25-23, 12-25, 27-29, 25-23, 15-11, at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan, Sunday afternoon.
Grazielle Bombita uncorked a 26-hit game, combining with Miracle Mendoza and Sattriani Espiritu in a big Balipure charge early in the decider then the Water Defenders warded off the Jet Spikers’ late rally to clinch the thrilling victory.
Their fourth win against 10 defeats hardly matted in BaliPure’s botched campaign in the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision but coach Rommel Abella credited his wards’ gutsy stand that hampered Air Force’s own semifinal drive.
“I’m proud of our players. Despite falling 1-2 set behind, they hung tough and held on in the fourth then they came up with a solid start in the decider,” said Abella. “They relaxed towards the end but recovered in time.”
Air Force stayed at sixth at 5-7 but remained in the thick of the fight for at least a playoff for the last semis seat with Motolite and BanKo-Perlas tied at third at 7-5 and PacificTown Army just behind at fifth at 6-6 with a number of games still left in the double round elims of the tournament backed by Mikasa, Asics and KFC.
Bombita, who also fired 27 points in their similar five-set escape over Chef’s Classics last Sept. 28, spiked her game with 17 excellent digs while Menchie Tubiera backed her up with 19 markers.
Espiritu finished with 12 points for BaliPure, which also nipped Air Force in five in their first round clash last Aug. 21.
After outlasting the veteran Jet Spikers in the fourth, the Water Defenders took command, 13-4, behind the troika of Bombita, Mendoza and Espiritu.
But Air Force, behind Javen Sabas and Joy Cases, countered with six straight hits and kept their pressing their bid to pull within three at endgame. But Sabas fumbled with a service error and Bombita capped the Water Defenders’ comeback with a clever drop shot to clinch the win.
Vira Guillema put BaliPure’s offense in motion with 24 excellent sets while Glyka Medina anchored the team’s defense with 21 excellent digs.
May Ann Pantino fired 16 points, Dell Palomata added 10 markers, and Cases and Mae Antipuesto had seven hits apiece for Air Force, which broke a five-game skid with a five-game run to bounce back into contention. But the Jet Spikers are on a skid again with back-to-back setbacks.