The Bali Pure-National University Water Defenders snapped their three-game losing streak in dramatic fashion, mustering a comeback against the Iriga-Navy Lady Oragons, 25-17, 18-25, 20-25, 26-24, 16-14, to start the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference quarterfinals at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
After lackadaisical efforts in the second and third sets, Bali Pure-NU went into survival mode in the fourth set. Bali Pure imports Janisa Johnson and Alexis Matthews provided the offense and ended up in a deuce. An Iriga service error set up Johnson’s set-clinching hit to force a decider.
Iriga-Navy battled back from an 2-5 deficit and fought tooth-and-nail for another extension. Costly mis-receptions allowed Bali Pure-NU to transition the clutch points, with Mhicaela Belen and Rose Doria conspiring for Bali Pure-NU’s final two points.
“It has been very challenging for us, these past couple of weeks. What’s good is it has tested our character greatly,” said Bali Pure-NU head Babes Castillo after his team snapped a losing streak dating back to the preliminary round.
“We needed to get back on our feet. We still have a ways to go, but I’m happy that we won,” he added.
Johnson finished with 27 points, while Matthews added 19. Belen and Doria combined for 27 big markers.
Macy Ubben topped the Oragons with 32 points while Lauren Whyte added 23.
Bali Pure-NU (1-0) next take on the Petro Gazz Angels (0-0) on Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. Iriga-Navy (0-1) face the Pocari Sweat-Air Force Lady Warriors (0-0) on Wednesday, still at the Arena in San Juan.
Bali Pure (3) – Johnson 27, Matthews 19, Belen 14, Doria 13, Nisperos 5, Solomon 4, Cagande 1, Diolan 0, Paran 0, Robles 0, Nierva (L)
Iriga-Navy (2) – Ubben 32, Whyte 23, Imbo 8, Eguia 4, Kim 3, Cabriana 2, Madulid 2, Acuna 1, Serafica 1, Bombita 0, Ticar (L)
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