Pocari, BaliPure triumph, near PVL finals
Pocari Sweat blew a two-set lead but proved steadier in the decider as it carved out a 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 22-25, 15-12 decision over the Power Smashers to close in on the other finals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference in San Juan late Saturday.
The Lady Warriors fell short by four in power attacks against the Power Smashers, 48-52, but made up for the slack with solid blocking, 15-13, while producing two aces more than their stubborn rivals, 8-6, to clinch the victory in their side of the best-of-three semifinal series.
Earlier, top seed BaliPure rallied past Creamline, 22-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-21, to likewise move a win from advancing to the finals of the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.
Michelle Strizak fired 20 points while Myla Pablo blasted in 16 hits and Jeanette Panaga and Desiree Dadang combined for 27 points as the defending champions kept their win run going following a sweep of the quarterfinal round to clinch the No. 3 seeding.
Thai import Kannika Tipachot matched Strizak’s output and Hyapa Amporn and Jovelyn Prado combined for 29 hits, but the Power Smashers’ rally fizzled out in the stretch of the fifth set.
Victories by Pocari and BaliPure in Game 2 tomorrow will arrange a titular showdown between the Lady Warriors and the Water Defenders with the Lady Warriors eyeing a second straight championship in the import-laced tournament of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.
The Power Smashers and Creamline, however, are determined to bounce back and send their respective Final Four duels into a decider on Thursday.