• Pocari, NU duel for Shakey’s V-L lead

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    Pocari Sweat and National U face off today in a duel of opening day winners while Team Iriga and Baguio tangle in a clash of newcomers in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan today.

    The Pocari Lady Warriors trounced the UP Lady Maroons, 25-18, 25-14, 25-22, while the Lady Bulldogs needed an extra set to hurdle the Laoag Power Smashers, 25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, in last Saturday’s kickoff of the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.

    Despite their straight-set win, Pocari assistant coach Rommel Abella stressed the need for his wards to impose their will and strength, especially against an NU side boasting of equally talented players and experience.

    “We’ll need to play a little more aggressive because NU is a strong team,” said Abella, taking over from head coach Tai Bundit, who is still in Thailand.

    Michelle Gumabao, Myla Pablo and Elaine Kasilag combined for 34 hits against the Lady Maroons but would need to double their effort against the Jaja Santiago-led Lady Bulldogs, former two-time league champions,

    Santiago put in a 21-hit game against Laoag and drew solid support from setter Jasmin Nabor, Risa Sato, Jorelle Singh and Aiko Urdas.

    That makes their 6:30 p.m. match worth watching with the winner seizing the solo lead in the single round robin elims among eight teams in the league backed by Mikasa and Accel.

    The match, together with the 4 p.m. clash between Iriga and Baguio, will be aired live on the league’s new television partner ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23, according to the organizing Sports Vision.

    Meanwhile, Sta. Elena and Air Force square off at 1 p.m. in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Open Conference.

    Iriga, which showed some promise despite dropping a 1-3 setback to Laoag late Monday, guns for its first win against Baguio, to be led by Ai Tsuchiya, Colleen Rossi, Yannah Arances, Aloise Costales and Cielo Abella.

    Power-hitting Grazielle Bombita and May Alvarez, who combined for 29 hits in their V-League debut, are expected to carry the cudgels against for the Lady Oragons with support to come from Hannah Faurillo, Karen Levina, Janine Lana and Shyra Cabriana.

    Standings
    W     L
    Pocari         1     0
    NU               1     0
    Air Force    1     0
    Laoag          1     1
    BaliPure     0     1
    Iriga            0     1
    UP               0     1
    Baguio         x     x

    Games today
    1 p.m. – Sta. Elena vs Air Force (S Turf)

    4 p.m. – Iriga vs Baguio (V-League)

    6:30 p.m. – Pocari vs NU (V-League)

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