• BaliPure, Iriga dispute third spot

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    Alyssa Valdez FILE PHOTO

    Alyssa Valdez FILE PHOTO

    Alyssa Valdez arrived on Tuesday in time for BaliPure’s match against an equally resurgent Team Iriga but the former ace Ateneo hitter will stay in the sidelines when the Water Defenders shoot for another win and solo third in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan today.

    Valdez is coming off a European stint where she, together with team Gretchel Soltones, played exhibition games and held a training camp but the two-time UAAP MVP will not suit up for their 4 p.m. match with the Lady Oragons to take the much-needed rest.

    But she will be there rooting and providing the support for her teammates coming off an inspiring five-setter over the National U Lady Bulldogs late Monday that evened their card at 1-1 in the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.

    Soltones starred in that come-from-behind win with the former San Sebastian star ratting off a 23-hit performance, her last two spikes clinching the victory for the Water Defenders.

    “I’m so proud of this team, all heart, all out. That’s what Team BaliPure is all about,” said BaliPure player-coach Charo Soriano.

    But Team Iriga also bounced back into contention with a straight-set victory over Team Baguio last week in a big rebound from its four-set setback to unbeaten Pocari Sweat, making their clash a match to watch.

    University of the Philippines and Baguio, meanwhile, tangle in the 6:30 p.m. main game in a duel of teams that dropped their first two matches in the league backed by Mikasa and Accel.

    Both V-League matches will be aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23 with live streaming on www.v-league.ph, according to the organizing Sports Vision.

    In the Spikers’ Turf, Instituto Estetico Manila goes for its second straight win as it squares off with Sta. Elena at 1 p.m.

    Pocari and Air Force pace the eight-team field with 3-0 cards with the Lady Warriors and the Jet Spikers moving a couple of wins away from nailing the first two berths in the crossover semis.

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