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Pocari stuns Creamline spikers

Games Wednesday

(The Arena, San Juan City)

10 a.m. – Air Force vs Vice Co. (m)
1:45 p.m. – BanKo-Perlas vs PayMaya (w)
3:45 p.m. – Pocari-Air Force vs Creamline (w)
6 p.m. – PLDT vs Cignal (m)

Pocari Sweat-Air Force banked on its rock-solid defense to shock fancied Creamline, 25-23, 25-12, 25-23, yesterday and inch closer to a championship berth in the 2018 Premier Volleyball League Re­inforced Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Lady Jet Spikers made 10 blocks – four each from Arielle Love and Jeanette Panaga – to draw first blood in their best-of-three semifi­nal series.

Love paced with 20 points high­lighted by 15 spikes even as Made­line Palmer added 12 points includ­ing three aces as Pocari turned its 21-18 first-set deficit into a set win before dictating the tempo in the next three frames.

Pocari coach Jasper Jimenez credited his team’s quarterfinals campaign where they went through the eye of the needle before taking the last bus to the semifinals.

“Malaking factor yung tuluy-tuloy yung laro namin kumpara sa kanila na matagal nabakante. Nag­ing motivation sa amin yon,” said Jimenez.

Creamline advanced outright in the semis after topping the elims three weeks back, leaving six squads including Pocari to battle the last two semis seats.

Skipper Myla Pablo also spelled the difference for Pocari with nine points, while Wendy Ann Semana silently contributed with 22 excel­lent sets and five digs.

Alyssa Valdez scored 16 points for Creamline.

New import Laura Schaudt also struggled with only one point as the Cool Smashers struggled against the Lady Jet Spikers’ net and floor defense.

In men’s play, defending cham­pion Cignal shrugged off a three-week rust and outplayed PLDT, 25-22, 25-20, 26-24, to move a win away from clinching a champion­ship berth.

The HD Spikers needed only 78 minutes in besting the Ultrafast Hitters anchored on Marck Espejo, who exploded for 20 points built on 19 kills and one ace.

Rex Intal also stepped up for Cignal with 12 points includ­ing four blocks, Ysay Marasigan chipped in 10 points highlighted by three blocks and Ish Polvorosa managed 34 excellent sets.

Game 2 of their best-of-three semis series is on Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Cignal seeking its third finals appearance