The dethroned Pocari Sweat-Air Force Lady Warriors are close to salvaging bronze after taking care of the BanKo-Perlas Spikers, 25-22, 17-25, 16-25, 26-24, 15-11, in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
After falling behind 2-1 in sets, the Lady Warriors survived a late BanKo run in the fourth set to force a decider. After struggling to pass consistently throughout the match, the Lady Warriors caught consecutive breaks midway through the fifth set which they turned into transition attacks and a 12-9 lead.
Pocari Sweat import Maddie Palmer then responded to each BanKo point, setting up Elaine Kasilag’s game-winning tip.
Palmer scored a season-high 24 points, while fellow import Arielle Love added 17 for the Lady Warriors, who played without injured captain Myla Pablo.
“We didn’t have very good attitude in the first two sets and we felt like we were gonna lose,” said Palmer. “The change that we made that we wanted to win instead of not wanting to lose it’s just a different mindset and that was our improvement from the first three sets to the last two.”
Kia Bright led the Perlas Spikers with 33 markers while Jutarat Montripilia managed 17.
BanKo lost their third straight five-set match.
The Lady Warriors can claim the third place award with a win on Wednesday.
Pocari Sweat-Air Force (3) – Palmer 24, Love 17, Palomata 13, Kasilag 9, Panaga 3, Yongco 3, Semana 2, Pantino 0, Racraquin 0, Balmaceda (L), Tempiatura (L)
BanKo (2) – Bright 33, Montripilia 17, Ahomiro 14, Roces 6, Dacoron 4, Emnas 4, Tiamzon 2, Devanadera 1, Gervacio 0, De Jesus (L), Tan (L)