Pocari Sweat, BaliPure rekindle rivalry, stake winning run
Mark Escarlote on Oct 29, 2016 01:53 AM
Expect a slam-bang tussle between rivals BaliPure and Pocari Sweat.
BaliPure and Pocari Sweat rekindle their rivalry Saturday in a preview of a possible semifinals pairing with both hot-streaking squads looking to share the lead in the penultimate elimination round playdate of the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Opening serve is at 4:00 p.m. and will air live over S+A channel 23 and S+A HD channel 166 and via livestream on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/vleague.
The Purest Water Defenders and the Open Conference champion Lady Warriors share the second to third spot with 4-1 win-loss records behind the league-leading University of Sto. Tomas (5-1) and are both on a four-game winning streak since dropping their respective tournament debuts.
BaliPure and Pocari Sweat won 12 straight sets making this match even more exciting for the teams that last crossed paths in Game 3 of the Open Conference Final Four won by the Lady Warriors.
“It's always a good match between Pocari and BaliPure, we hope to bring the same competitiveness on Saturday,” said the Water Defenders veteran Charo Soriano.
“Making rivalries is always good with anything coz it just means we're pushing each other to be better and of course, we're excited to see the match-up on Saturday,” she added. “They are very powerful in terms of their attack so we gotta make sure lang na we keep our consistency.”
BaliPure is coming off a 25-21, 26-24, 25-13, win over Laoag last Wednesday that formally closed the Final Four race.
Pocari Sweat outclassed the Power Smashers 25-13, 25-20, 26-24, last Monday that gave the Lady Warriors the second semis eat.
“Yung winning streak namin hopefully ma-sustain namin against BaliPure kasi alam namin na malakas na team rin yun,” said Lady Warriors coach Rommel Abella. “Magagaling din ang American imports nila. Hopefully we’ll give them a good fight.”
All eyes will be set on each the two squads American imports especially that matchup of powerful wing hitters Kate Morrell of BaliPure and Bre Mackie of Pocari Sweat – both former VCB Cheseaux teammates in a club league in Switzerland.
Morrell is averaging 21.2 points per game while Mackie logs in a norm of 17 markers per outing. Mackie is second overall in attack efficiency (39.33%) and on top of the blocking category (0.59 kill blocks per set) while Morrell is eighth in attack efficiency (34.75%) and second on blocking (0.56 per set).
Morrell will have on her back American setter Kaylee Manns and mainstays Amy Ahomiro, Dzi Gervacio, veterans Sue Roces and Charo Soriano and libero Denden Lazaro.
Helping out Mackie on Pocari Sweat’s side are American middle Adrea Kacsits, Myla Pablo, Michele Gumabao, Fil-Am setter Iris Tolenada and libero Mel Gohing.
The Final Four pairing will be determined on Nov. 2 after BaliPure closes the elims against listless Philippine Coast Guard while Pocari Sweat tests the mettle of UST.
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