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3 battle for last semifinal slot

With four wins apiece, Pocari Sweat, BaliPure and Air Force are assured of at least a playoff for the last semifinal berth, virtually leaving the fight for the last Final Four slot among three teams with five playdates left in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference.

That makes the remaining matches crucial for National U and Laoag, toting identical 2-3 cards, while University of the Philippines and Iriga, with 1-3 slates, knock each other out on Monday with the winner staying in the hunt for a playoff for the last semis seat.

Iriga actually faces elimination when action in the season-opening conference sponsored by Shakey’s resumes tomorrow (Saturday) at the Blue Eagle gym in QC when the Lady Oragons collide with the unbeaten Pocari Lady Warriors in the 4 p.m. match.

Laoag, on the other hand, is fancied to move to solo fourth as it takes on winless Baguio in the 6:30 p.m. main dish.

The Lady Bulldogs, coming off a stinging five-set setback to the surging Water Defenders late Wednesday, hope to rebound against the Summer Spikers on Monday.

Both NU and Laoag’s last games will be against UP with the Lady Bulldogs squaring off with the Lady Maroons on June 25 and the Power Smashers facing the Diliman-based squad in the final elims day on June 27.

The playoff will be held on June 29, according to the organizing Sports Vision.

Meanwhile, BaliPure and Air Force try to formalize their stint in the semis on June 22 with the Water Defenders taking on the Summer Spikers at 4 p.m. and the Jet Spikers clashing with the Lady Oragons.

While Pocari Sweat remains the team to beat with four straight wins in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel, BaliPure and Air Force have rebounded from stinging setbacks to zero in on the two other berths with 4-1 marks with the Water Defenders priming up for their keenly awaited duel with the Lady Warriors on June 25.

“We need the one week break to prepare for our last two games, including one against Pocari,” said BaliPure player-coach Charo Soriano.

While Pocari is tipped to get past Iriga with its talent-laden crew composed of former La Salle stalwarts, the Lady Warriors will be hard-pressed against the Water Defenders and the Jet Spikers, who they will meet at the close of the elims on June 27.