PVL: Lady Warriors close in on third

Pocari import Arielle Love goes one-on-one against Creamline counterpart Kuttka Kaewpin in one of the highlights of Game One of their best-of-three semifinal series in the PVL Reinforced Conference.

Pocari import Arielle Love goes one-on-one against Creamline counterpart Kuttka Kaewpin in one of the highlights of Game One of their best-of-three semifinal series in the PVL Reinforced Conference.

Games Wednesday (MOA Arena)
10 a.m. – PLDT vs Vice Co (men’s – for third)
1:45 p.m. – Pocari-Air Force vs BanKo-Perlas (women’s – for 3rd)
3:45 p.m. – Creamline vs PayMaya (women’s – for crown)
6 p.m. – Cignal vs Air Force (men’s – for crown)

Pocari-Air Force bucked the absence of local ace Myla Pablo and turned back BanKo-Perlas, 25-22, 17-25, 16-25, 26-24, 15-11, to zero in on third place honors in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference at the MOA Arena in Pasay yesterday.

Maddie Palmer unloaded 22 attack points, the last three giving the Lady Warriors a 12-9 cushion in the fifth before Arie Love took over with back-to-back hits and Elaine Kasilag finished off the rallying Perlas Spikers with a dump at the start of their best-of-three series for third in the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.

Palmer also delivered two aces for a 24-hit output while Love and a slew of locals also stepped up for the dethroned champions, who lost Pablo to injury before the start of their sudden death for the first finals berth with the Creamline Cool Smashers last Friday.

But the Lady Warriors still lived up to their name, fighting back from 1-2 set down and recovering from a late fourth-set meltdown before holding sway in the fifth to steal the victory from the Spikers.

“We’re disappointed of not being able to make it to the finals but we stayed focused on this game,” said Palmer.

Pocari nearly blew a 24-21 edge in the fourth as BanKo-Perlas, with Kia Bright on the attack, scored three straight points to extend the match. But an Amy Ahomiro service error and a Del Palomata quick hit sent the match into a deciding fifth.

The Lady Warriors came up with back-to-back kill blocks off Bright to take early control in the decider, padded their lead to 9-5 on a Kasilag ace then withstood the Spikers’ fightback of three straight hits that put them back within one.

But Palmer hammered in three hits against Jutarat Montripila’s off-the-block point and Love scored on a kill and a push to neutralize Ahomiro’s two points before Kasilag came through with that dink after a brief rally to complete their come-from-behind triumph.

They go for the clincher on Wednesday, also at the MOA Arena.