Lady Warriors slam Smashers, gain V-L semis

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Laoag’s Jovielyn Prado (18) challenges Pocari Sweat’s solid net defense put up by Michelle Gumabao (7) and import Kay Kacsits (4) during their Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference duel at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Laoag’s Jovielyn Prado (18) challenges Pocari Sweat’s solid net defense put up by Michelle Gumabao (7) and import Kay Kacsits (4) during their Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference duel at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Streaking Pocari Sweat rallied from seven points down and nipped Team Laoag in an extended third set duel, notching a 25-13, 25-20, 26-24 victory and clinching a spot in the semifinal round of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Monday.

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Import Breanna Mackie unloaded a 21-hit effort after a 24-point game against Customs last Saturday as she spearheaded another romp by the Lady Warriors, who clinched their fourth straight-set win in row since dropping a four-setter to the Air Force Jet Spikers last Oct. 5.

Pocari Sweat thus joined UST in the Final Four with a 4-1 card, keeping the Lady Warriors on track for a second straight championship after debuting with a victory over the Jet Spikers in the Open Conference finals early in the year.

Mackie, a 6-3 spiker who won five national championships for Long Beach, said it was their chemistry that continued to anchor their amazing surge.

“We’re communicating a lot inside the court now and I think we will keep on improving,” said Mackie.

Kay Kacsits, the other Pocari reinforcement, added seven points while locals Elaine Kasilag, Siemens Dadang, Myla Pablo and skipper Michelle Gumabao combined for 19 points as the Lady Warriors dominated the 70-minute encounter.

Laoag slid to 2-4 and in danger of missing the semis of the season-ending conference sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.

Grethcel Soltones fired 10 points but failed to draw solid backup from the rest with Jorelle Singh adding nine markers, Aiko Urdas chipping in six points and Katherine Villegas scoring five hits.

The Lady Warriors hammered in 40 spikes, eight more than the Power Smashers, while pouncing on their rivals’ poor service reception to collect seven aces.

Earlier, Cignal TV hacked out a stirring come-from-behind 18-25, 21-25, 28-26, 25-21, 15-13 victory over Army to advance to the semifinal round of the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Third Conference, also at the Philsports Arena.

Cignal coach Michael Cariño used new combinations after the fancied HD Spikers dropped the first two sets although they barely snatched the third set before sweeping the last two for a 3-1 card and a spot in the next round.

Idle Air Force also moved into the semis with a 3-0 mark.

Peter Torres combined with Lorenzo Capate Jr., Edmar Bonono, Edward Ybañez, Bonjomar Castel as they rallied past the Troopers with Ybanez clinching the tough victory with a power hit.

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