Wake-up call: Soltones leads BaliPure past resilient University of the Philippines
BaliPure relied on Grethcel Soltones to turn back University of the Philippines, 25-23, 25-21, 25-23, Saturday in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Soltones scored 18 points, including three straight spikes in the furious back-and-forth late in the third set, as the Water Defenders upped their record to 2-1.
“Our coach (Roger Gorayeb) told us to change our attitude inside the court because we lost our enjoyment the previous game,” said Soltones in Filipino. “So today we decided to just push it.”
It was the young Lady Maroons, however, who were pushing them all match long, taking the upper hand, 23-22, in the third frame before Jerilli Malabanan and Risa Sato conspired for the finishing touches.
“My players tend to lose aggressiveness; they play according to how our opponents play,” said Gorayeb. “This is just a wake-up call for us.”
UP was also leading in the first set, 19-15, off a sluggish start by BaliPure—until Sato, and Aiko Urdas sparked a scoring binge to snatch the set away.
Sato and Urdas finished with 13 points each, while Malabanan wound up with 10 for last conference’s runnerup.
Versatile spiker Isa Molde powered UP with 22 points, while Diana Carlos added 18 as coach Jerry Yee used all his players and tried out several combinations inside.