Lady Warriors tame Tigresses, close in on Finals spot
Mark Escarlote on Nov 05, 2016 08:38 PM
Pocari Sweat celebrates their Final Four Game 1 victory over University of Sto. Tomas.
Pocari Sweat cruised past the University of Sto. Tomas Tigresses, 25-16, 25-18, 25-22, Saturday to take Game 1 of the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference best-of-three semifinals at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The reigning Open Conference champion Lady Warriors banked on their advantage in height and experience to tame the Tigresses and knock on the door of their second straight championship appearance.
American guest player Bre Mackie with the help of Myla Pablo and Michele Gumabao led Pocari Sweat’s assault to duplicate the Lady Warriors win against UST at the end of the elimination round last Wednesday and extend their winning run to seven.
"I guess maganda ang gising nila," said Pocari Sweat coach Rommel Abella. "Our reception worked for us today so mas madali for our setters to make the necessary plays and make the necessary sets for our spikers."
Mackie scored 19 points including 17 off kills while American import Andrea Kacsits and Gumabao had 10 markers each for the Lady Warriors. Pablo finished with eight.
UST, which dropped a four-set match against Pocari Sweat four days ago, gave the Lady Warriors a scare in the second set with a 17-15 lead only to see it evaporate.
Pocari Sweat uncorked a telling 10-1 finishing rally to steal the set and take the confidence out of the Espana-based squad. UST showed grit in the third set saving three match points to close the gap 24-22 before Mackie sealed the match with an off the block hit.
The Lady Warriors can finish the series on Monday. If necessary, Game 3 is on Wednesday.
Only Cherry Rondina scored in double figures for the Tigresses with 12 points with 10 coming off attacks while EJ Laure was held to her lowest outout this conference with only eight markers.
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