After a disappointing loss, the Pocari Sweat-Air Force Lady Warriors dug deep and swiped a five-setter against the Bali Pure-National University Water Defenders, 29-27, 20-25, 19-25, 26-24, 15-13, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Warriors needed to wake up, trailing 1-2 and heading into the fourth set without any momentum. Pocari Sweat eventually forced a fifth set, but needed to squeeze out the match’s second extension.
Seeing a lack of energy from his squad, Pocari Sweat head coach Jasper Jimenez reminded his players that they were facing a high school squad.
“Sinabi ko nga sa kanila na karamihan ng kalaban namin ay high school na nakakakuha ng motivation nila sa imports. Dapat kami din, dapat may motivation din kami,” said Jimenez.
In the fifth set, Pocari Sweat took control after consecutive Bali Pure errors handed them a 7-4 lead. The Water Defenders closed the gap late, pulling a cross-court hit frin Mihcaela Belen to force a 13-all knot. Belen, however, pulled her team back with a hitting error. Maddie Palmer then punctuated the match with a down-the-line hit.
“Kung natalo kami kanina, sobrang hirap na makapasok kami sa semis. Kaya very thankful ako sa players. Maganda nilaro nila today,” closed Jimenez.
Myla Pablo topped Pocari Sweat with 22 points, while Palmer finished with 21.
Janisa Johnson led the Water Defenders with a season-high 35 points. Her fellow import Alexis Matthews added 19.
The Lady Warriors (3-1) can book their semis seat with a win over Tacloban Fighting Warays (0-3) on Saturday at the FilOil Flyimg V Centre. Bali Pure (1-2) face a must-win situation, also on Saturday, against the BanKo Perlas Spikers (2-0).
Pocari Sweat-Air Force (3) – Pablo 22, Palmer 21, Love 14, Antipuesto 5, Panaga 4, Semana 1, Yongco 1, Palomata 0, Racraquin 0, Tempiatura (L)
Bali Pure-NU (2) – Johnson 35, Matthews 19, Doria 14, Nisperos 13, Belen 11, Cagande 3, Paran 2, Doromal 1, Nierva (L)