(Philsports Arena, Pasig City)
4 p.m. – Pocari vs Power Smashers
6:30 p.m. – Creamline vs BaliPure
Defending champion Pocari Sweat squandered a two-set advantage but showed resolve to outlast Power Smashers, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 22-25, 15-12, to move a win shy of advancing to the finals late Saturday in the best-of-three semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League at The Arena in San Juan City.
Lady Warriors coach Rommel Abella blamed his players’ complacency in the third set, allowing the Power Smashers to come back from a 19-14 deficit which they used to eventually force a deciding fifth.
Pocari, however, woke up just in time to close in on earning a third consecutive trip to the finals. Game 2 is set tomorrow at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
“We relaxed. We don’t have problems getting leads. It’s maintaining it that is the problem. We have to really work on it kasi mental na yun eh,” said Abella.
The Lady Warriors faced stiff competition in the fifth set following a 10-all deadlock, before an error from the Power Smashers saved the day for Pocari.
American import Michelle Strizak bannered Pocari with 20 points including 18 kills, while Myla Pablo and Jeanette Panaga added 16 and 14 points, respectively.
Desiree Dadang also stepped up with 13 points highlighted by seven blocks.
It was a battle of defensive strategies for both squads, with Pocari slighlight prevailing with more blocks, 15-13.
Thai reinforcement Kannika Thipachot fired 20 points, even as compatriot Hyapa Amporn and Jovelyn Prado scored 15 and 14 points in a losing effort for the Power Smashers.