BaliPure eyes Finals seat, Pocari Sweat sees extension

Mark Escarlote on Jul 02, 2016 07:50 AM
BaliPure eyes Finals seat, Pocari Sweat sees extension
BaliPure and Pocari Sweat cross paths anew in Game 2 of their best-of-three semifinals showdown.

BaliPure goes for the jugular on Saturday as the Purest Water Defenders look to occupy a spot in the championship round in Game 2 of the 13th V-League Open Conference best-of-three semifinals series against Pocari Sweat at The Arena in San Juan.

The Purest Water defenders look to finish off the Lady Warriors in their scheduled 6:00 p.m. rematch to advance in the Finals which is also a race-to-two affair. 

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.

Alyssa Valdez did not disappoint on her 23rd birthday as she scored 24 points in BaliPure’s 25-20, 25-19, 26-24 win for a 1-0 series lead last Wednesday.

Water Defenders playing coach Charo Soriano said that they are bracing for a tougher challenge as Pocari Sweat tries to extend the series.

“We expect Pocari to play harder and stronger on Saturday,” said Soriano, who will also bank on Grethcel Soltones, Amy Ahomiro, setter Jem Ferrer and libero Denden Lazaro to finish the job.

The Lady Warriors absorbed their second straight loss after racking up six straight victories this conference.

Playing three games in five days, fatigue took its toll on Pocari Sweat, surrendering a match in straight sets for the first time.

Nursing an abdominal strain Michele Gumabao scored 11 points the last time out. Elaine Kasilag also had 11 markers while Myla Pablo, who was hospitalized Tuesday morning because of over-fatigue, only had eight.   

“Bawi na lang kami sa Saturday,” said Pocari Sweat assistant coach Rommel Abella.

The mentor hopes that they can pull off a comeback just like what they did in the elims where they won in five sets against BaliPure a week ago – the first of their loaded five-day stretch.  

“We did it once so we believe we can do it again. Hopefully magkaroon kami ng magandang start,” he said.

Game 3, if necessary, is on Monday at the PhilSports Arena.

 

 

 

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