The PayMaya High Flyers eked out a tight five-set win over the Bali Pure-National University Water Defenders, 13-25, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 15-9, to end their Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference preliminary round campaign at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
After starting the match with a deflated first-set effort, the High Flyers dominated the Water Defenders in the following frames, gaining quick leads and fending off Bali Pure runs. With the fourth set tied at 20, PayMaya floundered through the next five points, allowing Bali Pure-NU to force a decider.
By the fifth set, the more experienced PayMaya side easily prevailed. Tess Rountree started the set with consecutive hits, setting up a run that gave them a 13-6 lead, placing the match’s outcome out of doubt.
“Sabi ko sa kanila there’s nothing to be serious about this game, just finish this. Whatever happens, we have the highest quotient but we don’t want to end the eliminations on a very bad manner,” said PayMaya head coach Roger Gorayeb, sharing what he told his team before the match.
“You still have to play your best. If we lose, there’s nothing to worry about as long as you played your best,” the former NU Lady Bulldogs head coach pointed out.
Rountree finished with 27 points, while Jorelle Singh hopped off the bench in the second set and managed 11 markers.
Janisa Johnson topped Bali Pure-NU with 27 markers off 20 attacks, four aces, and three blocks. Alexis Matthews added 16 points.
PayMaya move on to the semifinals, taking a three-week break along with the Creamline Cool Smashers. Bali Pure end the preliminary with a 3-4 slate. They join Pocari Sweat, BanKo, Iriga-Navy, PetroGazz, and Tacloban in the round robin quarterfinals.
PayMaya (3) – Rountree 27, Singh 11, Soltones 10, Nabor 5, Sullivan 5, Domingo 3, Cayuna 2, Carandang 1, Villegas 1, Malabanan 0, Sta. Rita 0, Eroa (L), Pantone (L)
Bali Pure-NU (2) – Johnson 27, Matthews 16, Doria 12, Nisperos 7, Belen 5, Paran 4, Cagande 1, Doromal 1, Diolan 0, Nierva (L)