Bali Pure stays alive in PVL Finals, forces Game 3
Bali Pure lost hold of a two-set lead but recovered just in time to come away with a thrilling five-set Game 2 win over Pocari Sweat, 25-15, 26-24, 24-26, 24-26, 15-13, Tuesday in the 2017 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference women’s division Finals at Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Grethcel Soltones took matters into her own hands in the fifth set as she scored four kills in the decider, including the match-clinching spike to send the best-of-three series to a winner-take-all Game 3.
The three-time NCAA Most Valuable Player finished with 11 points, all of which came off attacks.
Jeng Bualee pumped 20 markers, 19 coming off hits to go with a service ace, while fellow guest player Jennifer Keddy also had 20 points, 10 from kills, six blocks, and four aces for the Water Defenders.
With no recourse but to fight back after losing Game 1, Bali Pure started like a house on fire, dominating in the first set, 25-15, and edging a furious Pocari Sweat squad in the second set, 26-24.
But the Lady Warriors didn’t go down without a fight, leaning behind the excellent showing of Krystal Rivers and Jessey de Leon in the third and fourth sets to drag the grueling two-hour match to a do-or-die Set 5.
Missing two chances to close the match out, the Water Defenders woke up just in time as they crawled their way back from a 9-6 deficit in Set 5 and tied the game at 10 to set up the cardiac finish.
Keddy engaged in a battle on the net against the duo of Michelle Strizak and Rivers in the next sequences, before Soltones imposed her will late and found the open space to put the nail in the coffin for Bali Pure.
“We’ve lost a number of games that we were behind. We’ll crawl our way back and then, we’ll lose. That was the case again, and that happened for two sets. But I’m glad that whatever happened, I’m proud because we didn’t lose like a bunch of kids,” said coach Roger Gorayeb.
The Water Defenders rebounded from their tough four-set loss to Pocari Sweat in Game 1, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24 last Saturday.
Game 3 is on Thursday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Rivers captained Pocari Sweat with 26 kills, while Strizak had 15 markers, 14 of which came from spikes.
Myla Pablo got 14 points in the losing effort for the Lady Warriors.
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