VOLLEYBALL

Pocari, BaliPure dispute PVL lead

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Pocari Sweat and BaliPure face off today in a grudge match for the solo lead while Perlas tries to recover lost grounds against struggling Air Force in the Premier Volleyball League First Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

The Lady Warriors squandered a 2-0 set lead but recovered in time to repulse the Perlas Spikers, 25-17, 25-17, 22-25, 18-25, 15-3, late Tuesday and regain the solo lead at 5-2 in the season-opening conference of the country’s longest-running volley league organized by Sports Vision.

BaliPure had earlier bounced back from a previous setback to beat Creamline in come-from-behind fashion, 26-24, 17-25, 25-23, 28-26, to re-take the lead at 4-1, only to drop to second again after the defending champions stamped their class in the decider and blasted the Perlas Spikers.

That should make the 4 p.m. encounter between Pocari and BaliPure worth watching, not only for the sake of the lead but also for a brewing rivalry between two of the league’s most popular teams.


The Water Defenders swept the Lady Warriors, 25-23, 25-22, 25-14, the first time they met last May 4, dealing the defending champions their second straight-set loss following a similar 0-3 setback to the Power Smashers last April 30.

But Pocari, with Myla Pablo, Elaine Kasilag, Jeanette Panaga and Maricar Nepomuceno and the rest settling down, has found its winning ways since then, racking up victories after victories to seize control of the six-team field heading to the final stretch of the double-round elims.

But the Water Defenders, who swept their first three matches, dropped a five-setter to Perlas Spikers but rebounded with a four-set win over the Cool Smashers, are raring to re-assert their mastery of the Lady Warriors, guaranteeing a slam-bang encounter between the top two spiking and blocking teams.

Pocari leads in team spikes with 276 with BaliPure in second with 235 with the former also producing the most number of kill blocks thus far with 50. BaliPure has 29.

Meanwhile, Perlas seeks to pounce in on Air Force’s struggling campaign as it shoots for its fourth win against three losses in their 6:30 p.m. showdown.

Air Force has only one win to show in six games and must sweep its last four to stay in the hunt for at least a playoff for the last semis berth in the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.

Army also tries to rebound from a setback to Cignal TV as it plays Air Force in the lone men’s match at 1 p.m.

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