The Bureau of Customs Transformers were on the verge of collapse but a clutch adjustment allowed them to topple the pesky Bali Pure Purest Water Defenders to clinch a seat in the 2016 Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference Finals 25-21, 25-16, 24-26, 8-25, 15-8 at the PhilSports Arena.
Customs came out ablaze, rattling Bali Pure in the first two sets. The Transformers dominated the net in the first two sets to take the early lead.
Bali Pure then made crucial adjustments in the third set, fielding defensive specialist Ella De Jesus at opposite and using Sue Roces at middle. What the Water Defenders lost in blocking, they made up for in amazing floor defense. Bali Pure’s defensive transitions proved crucial in a pivotal third set where both squads traded hits en route to a deuce. Bali Pure managed to claim the long rallies in the two points to clinch the set.
The fourth frame saw a major collapse from Customs who fumbled multiple receptions to start and never recovered. But the Transformers took advantage of their lousy effort to rest their starters for the decider.
A rejuvenated Customs side came into the fifth set and dominated from the onset. Customs’ Alyssa Valdez began the set spiking from the right side which threw Bali Pure for a loop. Combined with poor reception, Bali Pure found themselves in an insurmountable 3-11 hole.
“Swerte kami na may Alyssa Valdez kami,” said Customs head coach Sherwin Meneses. “Sa mga ganoon sitwasyon, alam mong gagawa siya. Tingin ko din sinuwerte kami kasi maraming breaks na napunta sa amin.”
Valdez finished with a triple-double of 16 points, 17 digs, and 16 excellent receptions while Thai import Kanjana Kuthaisong added 20 markers.
Customs had not a won a game against Bali Pure before their breakthrough win in Game Two. They earned a seat to face Pocari Sweat in the Finals which begins on Saturday.
Bali Pure’s Kate Morell led all scorers with 24 points while Amy Ahomiro managed 10. Bali Pure will take on UST in the battle-for-third on Saturday.
Bureau of Customs (3) – Kuthaisong 20, Valdez 16, Vargas 13, Mabbayad 10, Soriano 7, Jaisaen 3, Cataneda 0, Emnas 0, Mandapat 0, Tubiera 0, Ibisa (L)
Bali Pure (2) – Morrell 24, Ahomiro 10, Gervacio 8, Manns 8, Roces 7, De Jesus 1, Soriano 1, Tajima 0, Lazaro (L)