• BaliPure whips Coast Guard, bolsters bid for No. 2

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    BaliPure primed up for the Final Four as it smothered Coast Guard, 25-12, 25-8, 25-9, to boost its bid for No. 2 at the close of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference elims at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Wednesday.

    The quick three-set romp gave the Purest Water Defenders a 5-2 slate after the single round elims and finished tied with the Customs Transformers and the loser in the Pocari Sweat-UST match being played at presstime.

    A Pocari Sweat win in three or four sets will give BaliPure the No. 2 seed with Customs with Customs settling for No. 3 and UST dropping to fourth.

    Coast Guard’s Christine Maderazo (7) hits a looper to defy BaliPure’s Sue Roces (3) and Mae Tajima’s net defense during their Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference encounter at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOBut a UST victory will drop Pocari to No. 2 with BaliPure and Customs taking the next two spots in the semis of the season-ending conference sponsored by Shakey’s.

    Pocari and UST head to their keenly awaited showdown with identical 5-1 cards.

    BaliPure team captain Charo Soriano said they just want to go into the semis on a winning note.

    “It will be good for our confidence to go to the semis coming from a victory,” said Soriano.

    Ranged against a winless squad, the Purest Water Defenders took care of business right from the start then sustained their charge in the next two sets to wrap up the lopsided win in just 57 minutes.

    Import Katherine Morrell fired 19 attack points and finished with 20 hits, Dzi Gervacio loaded up 10 kills and wound up with 13 markers and Amy Ahomiro added nine points as the Water Defenders scored 44 spike points, 34 more than their hapless rivals.

    They also pounced on the Lady Dolphins’ sloppy reception, producing 14 aces with Ahomiro finishing with five and Kaylee Manns, the team’s other reinforcement, adding three.

    Jane Maderaza hit three kills that proved to be Coast Guard’s top score in its seventh straight setback in the tournament backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter. Hazel Mea, Grenlen Malapit, Alarnie Pesebre and Sam Dawson added two points apiece.

    Earlier, Champion Supra stopped erstwhile undefeated Air Force, 25-27, 25-22, 25-22, 27-25, to finish third after the single round elims in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Third Conference, also at Philsports.

    The Supra Smashers thus closed out with a 3-2 card and will take on No. 2 seed and defending champion Cignal in the Final Four.

    Arjay Onia fired 18 hits while three other Supra Smashers turned in big comes and combined for the team’s 57-point binge to halt the Jet Spikers’ win run at four.

    Despite the loss, Air Force still emerged No. 1 heading to the semis on Saturday where it will clash with No. 4 Instituto Estetico Manila (3-2) in a best-of-three series.

    Air Force and Cignal actually wound up with similar 4-1 cards the former took the top seeding with a higher quotient as did Champion Supra over IEM.

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