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BaliPure still hopeful

Down in a short title series, BaliPure remains hopeful of pulling it off although it would need to neutralize Pocari Sweat’s formidable pair of reinforcements to earn a shot at the Premier Volleyball League crown.

Bali Pure's Lizlee Pantone (MB photo \ Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Bali Pure’s Lizlee Pantone (MB photo \ Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

Drawing added firepower from debuting import-replacement Krystal Rivers, the Lady Warriors battled back from one-set down to sweep the next three, including the last on deuce points, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24, in the opener of their best-of-three series for the PVL Reinforced Conference title at the Philsports Arena late Saturday.

Game Two is set at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow, also to be shown live on S+A Channel 23.

The top seeded Water Defenders had looked forward to a big night after taking the opening frame but failed to sustain their charge in the face of the Lady Warriors’ mighty comeback, anchored on the power-hitting Rivers.

The former US NCAA Division 1 player from University of Alabama who replaced injured Bosnian middle blocker Edina Selimovic struggled in the early going but settled down in time and came away with a top-scoring 20-hit output, including three kill blocks.

The Water Defenders actually appeared headed to forcing a decider when they tied the count at 24 in the fourth but yielded the next two points, enabling the Lady Warriors to secure the win and move a win from keeping the crown they won last year.