The Bali Pure Purest Water Defenders swept the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference bronze medal series over the Laoag Power Smashers with a four-set Game Two triumph, 25-27, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
Conference MVP Bali Pure’s Grethcel Soltones topped the scoresheet with 18 points of 14 attacks, two blocks, and two aces. Middle hitter Amy Ahomiro added 15, open hitter Janine Marciano managed 12, opposite hitter Dzi Gervacio contributed 11, while Mae Tajima dropped a career-high 10 points.
“We’re just really happy that we were able to play together in this tournament and play well. I would hope that the Bali Pure management is happy with where we landed and hopefully we’ll be seeing more of this team in the future,” said Bali Pure playing coach Charo Soriano.
The Purest Water Defenders started the match sluggishly, allowing points to drag on into several rallies which favored the Power Smashers. Serving hard and strategically, Bali Pure managed to shift the tide in their favor throughout the match.
“That has been one of the problems for us the entire season. We would start slow like we needed a warm up. Thankfully we were able to recover and finish the match,” Soriano added.
Bali Pure took the lead in every scoring skill, piling up 10 game-changing aces and nine block kills.
Bali Pure even had the luxury to play their bench players in the third set, as they had built a sizeable lead early, 8-3.
“We always try to get everyone playing time because we do have several good players. It’s great that they’re able to stay ready when their number is called,” Soriano expressed.
Middle hitter Kath Villegas tallied 16 points to lead the Power Smashers, while Jema Galanza added 12 markers.
Bali Pure finished the elimination round with a 6-2 record. They were bounced out of the semifinals by a determined Pocari Sweat side in three gruelling matches.
Laoag entered the semifinals after defeating the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons in a do-or-die match for the last semifinal slot. The Air Force Jet Spikers swept Laoag out of the semifinals.
Bali Pure (3) – Soltones 18, Ahomiro 15, Marciano 12, Gervacio 11, Tajima 10, De Jesus 3, Ferrer 1, Tan 0, Eroa (L), Lazaro (L)
Laoag (1) – Villegas 16, Galanza 12, Prado 10, Eulalio 9, Paat 9, Saet 4, Emnas 0, Sante 0, Galang (L)