BaliPure, Customs begin Final Four showdown

Mark Escarlote on Nov 05, 2016 07:42 AM
BaliPure, Customs begin Final Four showdown
Bureau of Customs star Alyssa Valdez meets her former allies once again in a battle for a championship berth.

Crowd drawers BaliPure and Bureau of Customs take center court on Saturday to begin their 13th V-League Reinforced Conference best-of-three semifinals series at the PhilSports Arena.

Transformers superstar Alyssa Valdez takes on her former teammates once again in another explosive match set to start at 4:00 p.m. and will air via livestream on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/vleague. It will air 8:00 p.m. on S+A channel 23 and S+A HD channel 166.

BoC closed the elimination round with a 5-2 win-loss record in a three-way tie with the Water Defenders and University of Sto. Tomas Tigresses. BaliPure occupied the no. 2 spot because of a higher tiebreak (set ratio) followed by the Transformers while the Tigresses dropped to fourth spot for a semis showdown with top seed and reigning Open Conference champion Pocari Sweat.

Valdez, which played for the Water Defenders in the Open Conference, with the help of Thai imports hitter Kanjana Kuthaisong and setter Natthanicha Jaisaen carried the newbie team BoC into the Final Four despite a few bumps along the way. Valdez is averaging 19.8 points per game while Kuthaisong norms with 14 markers. 

The Transformers are bringing in the momentum of their back-to-back victories to end the eliminations. BoC defeated Philippine Air Force 23- 25, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21, last week.

Transformers head coach Sherwin Meneses hopes that they can pull off an upset this time after a straight sets defeat at the hands of BaliPure, 26-24, 25-21, 25-21 in the elimination round.

“Sa conference na ito kung sino ang mas magaling mag-adjust ‘yun ang lamang eh,” said Meneses, whose wards faced the Water Defenders in the elims with their Thai imports playing for the first time after missing their first two games because of issues in their playing documents. “Buti na lang ang mga imports namin nakiki-cooperate sa playing style dito sa Pilipinas.”       

But BaliPure remains a dangerous team.

The Water Defenders destroyed Philippine Coast Guard, 25-12, 25-8, 25-9, last Wednesday.

American import Kate Morrell leads the league with an average of 21 points per game while American skipper and playmaker Kaylee Manns has fully jelled with the Water Defenders proven by BaliPure’s fluid offensive flow. 

“We are used to each other now and we are all playing well together. And that’s the key right now,” said Manns, who is averaging 12.48 excellent sets per game while scoring an average of 7.14 points per outing.

Aside from the two reinforcements, BaliPure will also lean on their mainstays Amy Ahomiro, Dzi Gervacio, Sue Roces and libero Denden Lazaro.

Game 2 is on Monday and in needed, Game 3 is on Wednesday. 

 

 

 

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