PacificTown Army turned an expected fierce duel for third with BanKo-Perlas into a virtual workout, scoring a lopsided 25-18, 25-14, 25-20 victory to secure the No 3 spot in the Final Four of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.
Olena Lymareva-Flink of Ukraine closed out her performance the way she started it – in fiery fashion, blasting in a kill to wrap up the 69-minute romp that formalized the Lady Troopers’ claim on the third semis seat with a 5-5 card.
BanKo-Perlas wound up with a 4-6 for fourth but will need to wait for the result of the Motolite-PetroGazz clash being played at presstime time to determine whether the Perlas Spikers would officially nail the last Final Four seat go through a playoff.
With the 3-5 mark, the Motolite Power Builders must hurdle the Angels to force a sudden death for the coveted fourth spot.
Creamline, also clashing with winless BaliPure at presstime at the close of the double-round elims of the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision, and PetroGazz are also disputing the top seeding with identical 8-1 slates.
In case Motolite wins, the playoff will be held at 4 p.m. today (Sunday), also in San Juan.
As No. 3, PacificTown will face the No. 2 team in the semis, a best-of-three affair, beginning Wednesday.
The Lady Troopers, coming off back-to-back setbacks, pounced on the Perlas Spikers’ sloppy game and took control early up to the last spike with Flink sustaining her attacking kind of game throughout to finish with 29 points, including 23 attacks and six aces.
“We needed this game so we did everything to secure the win and third spot in the semis,” said Flink, who also drew solid backup from fellow reinforcement Jenelle Jordan (11 points) and locals Royse Tubino (seven points) and Jovelyn Gonzaga, MJ Balse-Pabayo, who combined for eight markers.
PacificTown Army peppered BanKo with 42 spikes and 10 aces.
The Perlas Spikers actually kept the game close in the third frame, forcing a tie at 11 and staying just behind 15-16. But the Lady Troopers put up a strong finishing kick, scoring eight of the next 11 points to sit on a 24-18 cushion. BanKo scored on an ace and on a Nicole Tiamzon hit to save two match points but Flink fired away the last of her power hits to finish off the Perlas Spikers.
No BanKo-Perlas player posted a double-digit score with Thai Sutadta Chuewulim and Dzi Gervacio finishing with eight points apiece and Tiamzon, who averaged 19 points in BanKo’s last two wins, was held to just five markers.