• Pocari, BaliPure seek to seal V-L title clash


    Pocari Sweat and BaliPure go all out to finish off University of Santo Tomas and Customs, respectively, today as they try to arrange a showdown for the Shakey’s V-League Season 13-Reinforced Conference crown at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

    Drawing strength from American Bre Mackie, the Lady Warriors downed the all-Filipino Tigresses, 25-16, 25-18, 25-22, in the opener of their best-of-three semis series last Saturday, moving them a win from gaining another crack at the V-League crown after bagging the Open Conference plum on their first try.

    Gametime is at 4 p.m.

    The Purest Water Defenders, meanwhile, slowed down Alyssa Valdez and trounced the Transformers, 25-19, 25-18, 25-21, to seize control in their side of the Final Four in the season-ending conference sponsored by Shakey’s.

    BaliPure guns for the clincher at 6 p.m.

    The power-spiking Mackie sustained her hot form, unleashing a match best 19 hits, including 17 on kills, to power Pocari past UST for the second straight time in three days.

    The Lady Warriors also toppled the Tigresses in their duel for the No. 1 seeding at the close of the elims of the tournament backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter last Wednesday.

    “She (Mackie) has been anchor but we still need to play as a team again for us to get into the finals,” said Pocari coach Rommel Abella.

    BaliPure, in contrast, held Valdez to just 15 points after the leading MVP candidate normed 21 hits in the elims, thanks to its solid defense upfront anchored on Amy Ahomiro, Kaylee Manns and Katherine Morrel.

    “The key that will help us beat Customs is defense. If we can do that, we’ll have a chance of wrapping this one up,” said BaliPure team captain Charo Soriano.

    Customs coach Sherwin Meneses, however, vowed to bounce back strong but stressed the need for his wards to toughen up on defense.

    “Our problem in the first game is our defense. We need to really adjust and try to send this series to a deciding game,” said Meneses.

    A decider, if necessary, will be played on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, Air Force and Cignal also go for the clinchers as they take on Instituto Estetico Manila and Champion Supre, respectively, in the semifinal round of the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Third Conference, also at Philsports.

    The Jet Spikers bested IEM, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 25-17, while the HD Spikers edged Champion Supra, 26-28, 25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 16-14, in their respective Game One duels.

    Cignal defeated Air Force in this same conference last year before the latter bounced back by outlasting the former in the Open Conference early this year.


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