Titans clash as Pocari Sweat, BaliPure start semis series
Mark Escarlote on Jun 29, 2016 07:57 AM
A huge crowd is again expected when Pocari Sweat and BaliPure open their best-of-three semifinals series on Wednesday.
Powerhouse teams collide as the crowd-drawers Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors and BaliPure Purest Water Defenders open their 13th V-League Open Conference best-of-three semifinals series Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
The two teams that needed five grueling sets to decide their elimination round showdown four days ago, meet again in the scheduled 6:00 p.m. clash after the 4:00 p.m. curtain-raiser match between top seed Air Force and no. 4 squad Laoag.
The game will air live over ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23, ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and via livestream on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/vleague.
Both teams are coming of a loss with the Lady Warriors absorbing their first defeat at the end of the elims last Monday against Air Force, 25-20, 17-25, 22-25, 15-25.
The loss pulled Pocari Sweat down to second spot for an early clash with the Water Defenders as the Jet Spikers came out with a higher tiebreak, 17-16, after locking their records to 6-1 apiece.
Lady Warriors assistant coach Rommel Abella admitted that the team needs to improve on their service receive if they want to achieve their goal of making it to the Finals.
“Kasi ‘yung service receive namin everyday namin ‘yan pina-practice pero dun pa kami napupuntusan,” Abella said. “So I guess we’ll make some adjustments and hopefully mag-work siya on Wednesday.”
Pocari Sweat’s control of the first ball has been a suspect, in fact, the Lady Warriors are second to the last in statistics in reception efficiency.
In Pocari Sweat’s last two games, they gave up a total of 28 service aces including 15 against Air Force. The Lady Warriors can’t afford to make the same mistake against BaliPure which they defeated by a hairline the last time out.
The Water Defenders had their five-game winning streak snapped, 25-21, 25-6, 24-26, 25-27, 19-17, to close the elims with a 5-2 slate.
Three-time UAAP MVP Alyssa Valdez came up with tournament-high 32 points in a lost cause for BaliPure.
She and another power-hitter Grethcel Soltones get another shot at taking down POcari Sweat, which will bank on their own scoring duo of Myla Pablo and Elaine Kasilag.
Game 2 of the semis is on Saturday at the same venue.
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