Soltones lifts Bali Pure in thriller
Mark Escarlote on Jun 06, 2016 08:59 PM
Grethcel Soltones of Bali Pure gets a spike through the defense of NU.
Grethcel Soltones made an instant impact in her first action in the 13th V-League, leading Bali Pure to a hard-earned 18-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 15-13 victory over the National University Lady Bulldogs Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
The NCAA back-to-back Most Valuable Player from San Sebastian, who returned from her European tour with superstar Alyssa Valdez just last Thursday, dropped 22 of her 23 points from attacks including the back-to-back through the block kills that broke a 13-13 deadlock to clinch the Water Defenders’ first win in two games to tie Iriga City.
Soltones also beefed up the floor defense of Bali Pure with 13 of the team’s 43 perfect receptions.
“Our main weakness from the last game was really our receive. But then I really felt her confidence I asked her (Soltones) what she wants and she said service receive,” said playing coach Charo Soriano. “I wanted the service to come from us but she said “No, we receive now coach. We receive”. She won the coin toss and then she chose receive and that for me is a very good sign that my players are very confident already in the game.”
Amy Ahomiro scored 14 markers while Janine Marciano had six for the Water Defenders, who will still miss the services of Valdez on Wednesday against Iriga. Valdez is expected to fly back to Manila on Tuesday.
Bali Pure in the deciding set went down to an 8-11 hole before firing a 5-1 barrage to take the 13-12 lead. Jorelle Singh tied it at 13 with an attack.
“The girls, you can really feel the energy of the girls coming into the fifth set,” said Soriano. “We had very good momentum in the fourth and everyone was very confident.”
Singh finished with 23 points, 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago had 20 while Fil-Japanese Risa Sato got 10 markers for the Lady Bulldogs, who slid to a 1-2 slate losing its second straight after another 5-set defeat at the hands of Pocari Sweat last Wednesday.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles