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Pocari, BaliPure start ‘Premier’ title series

Games Today
(Philsports Arena, Pasig City)
10 a.m. – Army vs Sta. Elena
1 p.m. – Air Force vs Cignal
4 p.m. – Creamline vs Power Smashers
6:30 p.m. – BaliPure vs Pocari

Reigning champion Pocari Sweat shoots for its third title as it takes on BaliPure today at the start of their best-of-three finals series in the Premier Volleyball League women’s tournament at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Match is at 6:30 p.m. with the Lady Warriors looking so confident following a 2-1 over the Power Smashers in their best-of-three semis series capped by a 25-19, 25-22, 25-21, late Thursday.

Pocari coach Rommel Abella is optimistic they can sustain their momentum against BaliPure.

Six-foot-1 American import Michelle Strizak will once again lead the Lady Warriors along with Fil-American Krystal Rivers.

Rivers, who has been in town for more than a week, was finally cleared to play after her International Transfer Certificate was released late Thursday.

“I think I can do a good job in scoring points,” said Rivers. “I’m ready to play. The team is excited to get me out of there.”

Apart from Strizak and Rivers, Abella can also count on Myla Pablo, Desiree Dadang, and Maricar Nepomuceno.

BaliPure, however, is not intimidated as it has its own arsenal in Thai veteran Jeng Bualee and American Jennifer Keddy.

The Water Defenders also have strong local starters in Grethcel Soltones, Jerrili Malabanan, and Risa Sato.

BaliPure earned a finals spot after beating Creamline in the other semis outing, 2-1, including a 25-18, 25-13, 25-16 win in Game 3.

BaliPure and Pocari split their two meeting with the former winning their first encounter in straight sets before latter evened up with a five-set win.

In men’s play, regular championship contenders Air Force and Cignal resume their rivalry as they face each other in the men’s finals for the fourth time starting at 1 p.m.

Air Force leads 2-1 in their head-to-head title duel.

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