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Bali Pure grabs 4th straight win, downs Laoag


Playing with a complete lineup only for the second time this season, the Bali Pure Purest Water Defenders ousted the Laoag Power Smashers in a controversial three-setter, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, in the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

As per usual, Bali Pure started slow and eventually heated up as the first set wore on. The Purest Water Defenders erased a 1-5 deficit to tie, then take the lead at 12-10. Thanks to timely attacks and blocks from Mae Tajima, Bali Pure bolted to a 22-17 advantage. Laoag, however, had an immediate reply, winning seven of the next five points through steady defense to force a deuce. Bali Pure’s Alyssa Valdez saved her squad, punctuating the set with back-to-back smashes.

The following set was just as close, with Laoag again closing a three-point gap and coming within a point of getting another deuce. Controversy struck when a Jovelyn Prado hit was initially called a good ball, placing Laoag at deuce 24-24. After conversing with the linesmen, first referee Bob Malenab overturned the call, giving the point to Bali Pure and the set.

Furious at the call, Laoag head coach Nes Pamilar fielded all his bench players in the third set. Facing Bali Pure’s starting six, the Laoag bench players fell easily in the last set.

“We have a lot of things to improve on and I’m really thankful for that,” said Bali Pure playing coach Charo Soriano. “We just try to keep it very light, very calm inside the court. That’s great but we know we need to keep working hard.”

Bali Pure’s pair of MVPs led the way, with Valdez topping the score sheet with 20 points, while Grethcel Soltones added 11 markers. Middle hitter Mae Tajima made the most of her playing time, going for a career-high eight points.

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No Laoag player scored in double-fugures, with Prado amassing eight points, while Lady Falcons Mylene Paat and Jema Galanza each had six.

Bali Pure (4-1) will try for a fifth consecutive win next Wednesday, June 22 at the FilOil Flying V Centre when they face the winless Baguio Summer Spikers (0-4). Laoag (2-3) will try to recover when they take on Baguio on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym.

The Scores:

Bali Pure (3) – Valdez 20, Soltones 11, Gervacio 8, Tajima 8, Ahomiro 7, Ferrer 3, De Jesus 1, Marciano 1, Bello 0, Eroa (L), Lazaro (L)

Laoag (0) – Prado 8, Paat 6, Galanza 6, Villegas 5, Layug 4, Eulalio 3, Sante 3, Tan 2, Emnas 1, Sta. Rita 0, Kramer 0, Galang (L), Gillego (L)

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.


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