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Pocari Sweat shoots for second semifinal berth

Games Today
12:30 p.m. – Cignal vs Army
4 p.m. – Laoag vs Pocari
6 p.m. – Air Force vs UP

Pocari Sweat hopes to ride the crest of its impressive three-set romp over title contender Customs as it shoots for the second semifinal berth against Team Laoag today in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

The Lady Warriors displayed grace under pressure in the first two sets then impose its will in the third to complete a 25-22, 25-22, 25-14 victory over Alyssa Valdez and the Transformers over the weekend, moving them closer to another semis stint and on track for a second straight championship after debuting with a title romp in the Open Conference early this year.

It was Pocari’s third straight win since stumbling with a five-set setback to Air Force last Oct. 5 although the Lady Warriors remain wary of the Power Smashers in their 4 p.m. encounter, citing the latter’s back-to-wall stance in the wild race for the three other seats in the Final Four with just four playdates left in the season-ending conference of the league where it all started.

Only UST, with a 5-1 mark, is assured of a spot in the semis in the tournament sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter. Pocari and BaliPure are tied at 3-1 while Customs slid to fourth at 3-2.

With a 2-3 slate, Laoag is in a must-win situation although the Power Smashers are reeling from back-to-back setbacks to the UP Lady Maroons and the Tigresses.

UP (2-4) and Air Force (2-3) knock each other out in the 6 p.m. match with both games to be aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 17 or 23 and via streaming on www.sports.abs-cbn.com and via streaming on www.v-league.ph, according to the organizing Sports Vision.

Imports Breanna Mackie and Kay Kacsits are again expected to carry the cudgels for Pocari Sweat with Myla Pablo, Michelle Gumabao and Siemens Dadang to provide the local support and Fil-Am setter Iris Tonelada also tipped to step up her game in anticipation of the Power Smashers’ big comeback.

Team Laoag coach Nes Pamilar hopes to draw the best from the power-hitting Grethcel Soltones, veteran Jorelle Singh, Aiko Urdas and Wenneth Eulalio along with ace setter Relea Saet as the Power Smashers try to snap their skid and stay in the semis race.

Meanwhile, Cignal also seeks to pounce on Army’s skid as they collide in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Third Conference match at 12:30 p.m., also at Philsports.