• Pocari, Air Force dispute PVL semis seat


    Defending champion Pocari Sweat and Philippine Air Force face off today in a key duel for the second semifinal berth while BaliPure tries to stay in the Final Four hunt against ousted Adamson University in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.

    The Lady Warriors and the Lady Jet Spikers are coming off contrasting wins on Saturday to assure themselves of at least a playoff for the last semis spot with 4-1 slates with both teams raring to unleash their full might to formalize their Final Four entry.

    Game time is at 6:30 p.m.

    Pocari Sweat’s Myla Pablo goes for a down-the-line hit during the Premier Volleyball League game at The Arena in San Juan City. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Air Force blew a two-set lead and scrambled in the fifth to pull off a a 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 17-25, 15-13 escape over the Power Smashers last weekend, in the process booting out the latter from the semis race in the mid-season conference of the league organized by Sports Vision.

    Pocari, on the other hand, primed up for its match against Air Force with a straight-set 25-23, 25-14, 25-19 romp over Adamson.

    Pocari coach Rico de Guzman will again pin his hopes on Myla Pablo, who came through with a 17-hit game the last time out with Maricar Nepomuceno stepping up to fire 14 points.

    The power-hitting Pablo also moved past Cream­line’s Alyssa Valdez in the scoring derby, pooling 114 hits in five games, just five behind UP’s Diane Mae Carlos’ 119. Valdez, out of the league with the national team, has 108 points.

    “She (Myla) is playing consistently well for us and we expect her to continue doing that,” said de Guzman.

    But the Lady Jet Spikers are expected to come up with a more consistent game to clinch the crucial win that will send them to the semis alongside the unbeaten Cool Smashers.

    BaliPure, meanwhile, hopes to wheel back into semis contention as it plays Adamson at 4 p.m.

    The Water Defenders fell to the Perlas Spikers, 26-24, 25-13, 13-25, 22-25, 11-15, last weekend to drop to No. 5 with the latter moving to the fourth spot at 3-3 in their spirited race to the semis of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.

    Meanwhile, Sta. Elena battles Gamboa at 10 a.m. while Army and Café Lupe tangle at 1 p.m. in the men’s tournament.


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