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Pocari outlasts Creamline, nears semis

Games Tomorrow
(The Arena, San Juan City)
4 p.m. – Creamline vs Air Force
6:30 p.m. – Pocari vs Perlas

Defending champion Pocari Sweat survived another marathon duel, this time against Creamline for a 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 18-25, 15-11 victory to inch closer to a semis berth in the Premier Volleyball League women’s tournament yesterday at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Lady Warriors were a set away from winning the match when the Cool Smashers suddenly found their rhythm, winning the next two to force a deciding fifth set.

But Pocari import Michelle Strizak joined forces with Myla Pablo to finally take the fight out of the Cool Smashers for their second straight win in the round-robin quarters.

Strizak once against stood tall for Pocari with 30 points built on 29 kills and one block, while Pablo produced 10 hits to finish with 12 points.

Pocari Coach Rommel Abella blamed their inconsistency for slowing down in the third and fourth sets.

“Sakit na siguro ng mga teams yun na kapag nakakakuha ng first two sets, nagre-relax. Good thing nakabawi kami, although sa fifth set na,” said Abella.

Pocari’s win was a fitting sequel to its 21-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-14, 15-10 triumph over Air Force last weekend.

Pocari can seal the first semis seat if it prevails over Perlas Spikers tomorrow.

Also stepping up for the Lady Warriors were Maricar Nepomuceno and Desiree Dadang, who finished with 11 points each.

Alyssa Valdez scored 19 points, including 16 attacks for Creamline, but the Cool Smashers could do nothing to stop Strizak.

Earlier, Cignal went to Mark Gil Alfafara and Peter Torres at crunch time and turned back Sta. Elena, 25-14, 17-25, 25-19, 25-21, to clinch the No. 2 seeding in the semifinals of the men’s tournament.

Alfafara, a national pool member, walloped 13 kills, and produced three blocks and the same number of service aces to finish with 19 points for the HD Spikers, who finished the elimination round tied with league-leader Air Force at 4-1.

Cignal, however, finished at No. 2 for having an inferior quotient compared against Air Force.