Pocari nails three-peat
Pocari Sweat is Premier Volleyball League champion for the third straight time.
Krsytal Rivers starred in the Lady Warriors’ latest victory as the University of Alabama stalwart scored 27 points—15 in the first two frames—to lead a
20-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-19 win over the BaliPure Water Defenders on Thursday night at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Playing only in the best-of-three finals because of the delayed release of her International Transfer Certificate, Rivers more than made up for it as she helped Pocari keep its Reinforced Conference crown.
Pocari also ruled last year’s Open Conference.
Michelle Strizak slammed through the enemy’s defense when BaliPure started to creep in from 13-23 to 19-24, before Jessey de Leon scored the title-clinching point.
Rivers, who battled lymphoma while playing in the American collegiate league, was a last-minute replacement for injured Edina Selimovic.
“All I want is to help my team win,” said Rivers. “And the team has a strong will to win.”
Gyselle Sy made 24 excellent sets and 12 excellent digs on top of an ace that gave Pocari a 16-8 lead in the third set.
“It was a fulfilling win for us because this team has been through a lot of adversities,” said Pocari coach Rommel Abella, whose team joined the league only last season.
The Lady Warriors held off the Water Defenders in the opener of the best-of-three series, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24, but dropped a 15-25, 24-26, 26-24, 26-24, 13-15 decision in the next.
Jaroensri Bualee, on her last tour of duty as import here, went all-out in offense in the first frame, nailing three straight points late in the set.
But Pocari, led by Rivers, rose to the occasion and stepped up its attack in the second set, exploding with 25
attacks against 17 by the Water Defenders.
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