• Perlas Spikers stay in semifinals hunt

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    Perlas-BanKo survived University of the Philippines’ gutsy stand and eked out a 30-28, 21-25, 25-21, 25-18 victory to stay in the semifinal race in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan late Wednesday.

    The Perlas Spikers bucked Diana Carlos and Isa Molde’s combined 42-hit effort to hack out the one-hour, 41-minute victory that kept them in the hunt for the last Final Four seat in the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

    It was only Perlas-BanKo’s second win in five games and remained in fifth but the victory should fire up the Perlas Spikers in their last two games against the BaliPure Water Defenders and the Creamline Cool Smashers.

    BaliPure is a shade better at 2-2 while Adamson is in sixth at 1-3 and UP and the Power Smashers are way behind with 1-4 slates with five playdates left in the single round robin elims.

    Nicole Tiamzon fired 15 points against her former team while ace stopper Ella de Jesus also turned in a 15-hit performance while teaming up with Jessica Tan for 38 of Perlas-BanKo’s 60 excellent digs.

    Kathy Bersola, another former UP stalwart, backed them up with 14 markers while veteran campaigner and skipper Sue Roces delivered 13 hits for the Perlas Spikers.

    UP held its ground in spikes, falling just three kills short of Perlas’ 55, while producing seven aces, two more than their tormentors.

    But after coming through with a solid second set performance, the Lady Maroons failed to neutralize the Perlas Spikers’ power and sputtered with a number of mishits and miscues to lose the next two sets.

    Meanwhile, newcomer Mega Builders stunned Cignal TV in a duel of unbeaten teams, 26-24, 26-24, 25-17, to nail the first semis berth with a 5-0 card in the men’s side of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.

    Air Force also tied Cignal at 4-1 after the Jet Spikers rallied from two sets down to edge the Instituto Estetico Manila Volley Masters, 13-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-22, 16-14, in the other match. IEM fell to 2-3.

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