BaliPure proved too much for a hapless Baguio side, fashioning out a 25-18, 25-14, 25-18 victory to formalize its stint in the semifinal round of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
The Water Defenders dished out just enough effort to dispose of the Summer Spikers in 59 minutes with Gretchel Soltones, Dzi Gervacio and Amy Ahomiro taking charge as top hitter Alyssa Valdez took a rest after two sets.
The win kept BaliPure’s streak going heading to its keenly awaited duel with Pocari Sweat on Saturday for the top seeding in the Final Four of the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa and Accel.
Baguio closed out its campaign without a win in seven outings but gained a lot of experience playing against the best in the fold.
Soltones came away with booming spikes on both sides, firing 13 kills while producing four blocks for a 20-point performance while Gervacio scored 10 attack points for an 11-hit effort and Ahomiro backed them up with 12 markers, including three aces.
Valdez, conserving her energy and strength for an expected duel with Pocari’s top hitters, finished with eight hits.
Skipper Ai Tsuchiya and Carmela Dicksen scored six points apiece while Mary Ann Atuban chipped in five points for the Summer Spikers, who actually kept the game a bit close but just couldn’t stop the Water Defenders’ strong finishing kick in all three sets in a match shown live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23.
The Water Defenders unloaded a total of 45 spikes against Baguio’s measly 18-attack effort but the Summer Spikers made up for their offensive slack with solid net defense, coming up with eight blocks, two more than their fancied rivals.
“We’re still working on our combination plays and receives,” said BaliPure player-coach Charo Soriano, adding their focus is now on the Lady Warriors, who are unbeaten in five games.
“We’re looking forward to our Saturday’s game,” said Soriano, whose wards swept their last five matches after dropping a four-setter to the Air Force Jet Spikers in their opening game.
In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Open Conference, Air Force fought back from a second set loss with a sweep of the next two, scoring a 25-18, 22-25, 25-17, 25-19 victory over Navy to tie Instituto Estetico Manila at second with 3-1 slates.
Navy fell to 0-4 and bowed out of the semis race with Bounty Fresh, also winless in four games.
Cignal heads the semis cast with a 4-0 card while Sta. Elena Construction took the fourth and last Final Four seat with a 2-2 mark heading to the last two elims playdate.