Motolite evaded Bali Pure’s upset axe, clawing from two sets down and thumping the still-winless Purest Water Defenders in a five-set thriller, 23-25, 23-25, 25-14, 25-14, 15-12, in the PVL Reinforced Conference Season 3, Saturday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The win boosted Motolite’s Final Four bid, hiking their win-loss record to 3-5 and creating crucial separation from BanKo, who hold a 2-5 card. Moreover, they pushed the Water Defenders out of the Final Four race.
Bali Pure had the first and second frame in hand after set-clinching rallies late in each set helped them wriggle past Motolite for an early advantage.
With their backs against the wall, Motolite played with a sense of urgency. They uncorked a balanced attack, drubbing Bali Pure in the next two frames to forge a decider.
Knotted at eight in the decisive fifth set, Trinidad and Tobago imports Channon Thompson and Krystle Esdelle took turns to put Motolite up by three, 11-8. Though Thompson committed an error in the next play, she atoned for it right after.
Danijela Dzakovic then scored all of Bali Pure’s points in a 3-1 spurt to knock within one, 12-13. Esdelle restored order, before Bombita committed a costly error to seal Motolite’s come-from-behind victory.
“I’m happy. I’m happy we pulled it together sets three and four and five. I think that’s kind of like when our team arrived, I think we kind of woke up. And we got serious. We got serious about the game. And we started playing with our heads and not playing with our emotions,” Motolite head coach Air Padda said.
“So yeah, I’m proud of them. This was a good one for us. Anytime you’re coming back two sets to zero is like, man, some serious perseverance going on right there. And I’m just happy that they pulled it together,” she added.
Motolite’s reinforcements exploded for a combined 51 points. Thompson led all scorers with 27 points – spiked by three blocks – to go along 15 excellent receptions and eight excellent digs.
Complimenting Thompson was Esdelle, who poured in 24 markers, with two from the service area.
Solid defense above the net and precise service reception proved the difference for Motolite, as they generated 13 and eight points from the two departments, respectively. Ai Gannaban then served as fortification with her five blocks.
Montenegrin Dzakovic spearheaded the Water Defenders with 18 points in a losing cause.
Bali Pure skipper Grazielle Bombita scored thrice in a plethora of ways to put her team at set point in the opening set. She also contributed 15 points built on 10 spikes, three aces and two blocks, and notched 13 excellent receptions.
Alex Vajdova supplied 12, two of which came from rejections, on top of 15 excellent receptions.
The Water Defenders are still winless in eight games.
Motolite will try to keep their Final Four hopes alive as they take on the BanKo Perlas Spikers tomorrow at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan City. Meanwhile, Bali Pure still hunt for their first win as they face the BanKo-Perlas Spikers on Wednesday, June 25 at the FilOil Arena.