The Bali Pure Purest Water Defenders ran into an early rut but recovered in time to put away the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses in Game One of the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference Finals 19-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-18 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
The Water Defenders fell behind early in the first set, 6-11, and allowed UST to take the frame. According to team captain Kaylee Manns, most of her teammates battled food poisoning before the match.
“Five or six of us ate at the same place over the break and got a bit of food poisoning so we really started slow. So we all just looked at each other and said that let’s go, let’s fight through this and win the next three sets,” Manns said.
The Water Defenders mustered a mean comeback, burying UST in early five-point leads in each of the next three sets and never looking back.
American import Kate Morrell bolstered Bali Pure with 28 points off 25 kills and three blocks. Amy Ahomiro and Sur Roces provided 11 and 10 markers, respectively.
Ej Laure led the Tigresses with 23 points while Cherry Rondina managed just 10 markers.
Bali Pure can clinch bronze on Monday, 4 pm at the PhilSports Arena.
“We’re excited. We definitely learned a lot in the semis after losing to BOC. Just because we won against them convincingly, doesn’t mean the series is over so we’re definitely expecting a fight in Game Two,” Manns added.
Bali Pure (3) – Morrell 28, Ahomiro 11, Roces 10, Manns 8, De Jesus 5, Gervacio 4, Tajima 3, Soriano 0, Lazaro (L)
UST (1) – Laure 23, Rondina 10, Meneses 9, Lastimosa 7, Cabanos 4, Palec 4, Pacres 3, Viray 2, Bicar 0, Francisco 0, Rasmo (L), Rivera (L)