Best-of-three V-League semifinals under way | Inquirer Sports

Best-of-three V-League semifinals under way

/ 10:43 PM November 04, 2016
Pocari Sweat vs UST. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Pocari Sweat vs UST. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

The chase for championship slots commences Saturday as the top four teams of the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference mix it up at Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Pocari Sweat rides on a six-game winning run when it takes on import-less University of Santo Tomas in the opener of the best-of-three semifinals at 6 p.m., while BaliPure tangles with Customs at 4 p.m.

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Finalists will tangle in another best-of-three series.

“We have to be on our toes because we don’t have a twice-to-beat incentive as No. 1,” said Pocari coach Rommel Abelda.

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Providing a backdrop for the match is that fact that Abelda and UST mentor Kungfu Reyes are close friends and members of the school’s coaching staff.

“I know his coaching style and I have high respect for him,” said Abelda who’s counting on the chemistry of imports Breanna Mackie and Andrea Kacsits with locals Michele Gumabao, Myla Pablo, Melissa Gohing and Iris Tolenada.

Mackie is the top blocker after the eliminations, while Gohing is top digger.

The Water Defenders and the Transformers also have their side stories pitting Customs leader Alyssa Valdez against her former BaliPure teammates.

BaliPure skipper Charo Soriano said they will go all out in trying to stop Valdez and Thais Kanjana Kuthaisong and Nattanicha Jaisaen.

“Our main concern is our defense,” said Soriano. “We knew we’re doing good but we have to double our efforts especially on defense because the playoffs are different from the elimination round.”

Soriano’s leadership and Kaylee Manns’ brilliant ball distribution will be keys for BaliPure, which will also lean on Katherine Morrell, Dzi Gervacio, Sue Roces, Mae Tajima and Amy Ahomiro and libero Dennise Lazaro.

Meanwhile, the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Third Conference Final Four also gets going with Cignal taking on Champion Supra and Air Force battling Instituto Estetico Manila.

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TAGS: BaliPure, coaching, Pocari Sweat, UST
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