Surging BaliPure seeks to stretch its win run to four while Air Force tries to recover lost ground as they gun for the semifinal berths in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan today.
BaliPure top hitter Alyssa Valdez is expected to settle down after leading the Water Defenders to a scrambling five-set win over the UP Lady Maroons last Monday, her first game in the season-opening conference of the league where it all started. Through she topscored with 26 hits, the former league MVP struggled in the early going along with the rest of the Water Defenders against the spirited Lady Maroons side, needing to bounce back from a 1-2 set deficit to steal the win.
It was BaliPure’s third straight victory after dropping a four-setter to the Air Force Jet Spikers last May 30. But against the Laoag Power Smashers in the 4 p.m. match, the Water Defenders will be facing a fired-up squad coming off a 3-0 rout of the erstwhile unbeaten Jet Spikers last Saturday.
That win evened Laoag’s card at 2-2, putting them back in the hunt for a semis seat in the tournament sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa and Accel.
Its three-game run snapped, Air Force is raring to rebound and formalize its stint in the Final Four but the Jet Spikers will be hard-pressed against a National University side also riding the crest of a three-set romp over Team Iriga, also last Monday.
They clash at 6:30 p.m.
The win also netted the Lady Bulldogs a share of fourth with Laoag with NU coach Roger Gorayeb hopeful of his wards’ surge in the second half of the single round robin elims with the top four teams advancing to the Final Four.
Newcomer Pocari Sweat is the first team in the semis with a 4-0 card.
While Valdez and the Water Defenders enjoy the edge in manpower and experience, the Power Smashers hope to lean on their big fighting heart as they try to pull the rug from under another fancied team the way they did against the Jet Spikers.
Jessica Galanza, Mylene Paat, Joviely Prado and Katherine Villegas are expected to spearhead Laoag’s bid against BaliPure, which also boasts of the power-hitting Gretchel Soltones and former Ateneo stalwarts Amy Ahomiro, Dzi Gervacio, May Tajima, Ella De Jesus and player-coach Charo Soriano.