Pocari Sweat and University of Santo Tomas collide today in what promises to be a slam-bang duel for the top seeding even as BaliPure guns for No. 2 against winless Coast Guard at the close of the elims phase of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
Drawing strength from American reinforcement Bre Mackie, the Lady Warriors strung up five straight wins, including a 25-16, 12-25, 25-21, 25-19 triumph over the BaliPure Water Defenders last Saturday to crowd the Tigresses on top at 5-1.
And the Open Conference champions, backstopped by Kay Kacsits, Michelle Gumabao, Myla Pablo and Fil-Am setter Iris Tonelada, look poise to capping their amazing surge with another victory over the Tigresses in their 6 p.m. encounter.
“She’s been carrying the load for us and we hope she keeps it up,” said Pocari coach Rommel Abella of the power-hitting Mackie, who has churned out a 21-hit norm in their last two games to emerge the best spiker and blocker and third leading scorer behind Customs’ Alyssa Valdez and BaliPure import Kathy Morrell in the season-ending conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
Despite their slight advantage in manpower, the Lady Warriors remain wary of the all-Pinay Tigresses, who have bucked the odds in the import-laced tournament backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.
UST, boasting of a loaded roster led by the crisp-hitting EJ Laure, Ria Meneses, Chloei Cortes, Cherry Rondina and Pam Lastimosa, is coming off a title romp in the recent University Games in Dumaguete and should provide the kind of challenge the Lady Warriors with have to thwart in their bid for No. 1
BaliPure, meanwhile, is heavily favored over Coast Guard in their 4 p.m. showdown with the Purest Water Defenders also priming up for the grueling semis series, a pair of best-of-three playoffs, where the No. 1 will face of with No. 3 and the Nos. 2 and 3 disputing the other finals berth.
The Pocari-UST match will be aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 17 or 23 and via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com and via streaming on www.v-league,ph, according to the organizing Sports Vision. The BaliPure-Coast duel will be shown on a delayed basis.
Victories by Pocari and BaliPure in three or four sets will net them the Nos. 1 and 2 spots, respectively, in the Final Four.
(Philsports, Pasig City)
12:30 p.m. – Champion vs Air Force (Spikers)
4 p.m. – BaliPure vs Coast Guard (V-League)
6 p.m. – UST vs Pocari Sweat (V-League)