by Kristel Satumbaga
Games Sunday 1 p.m. – Air Force vs Animo
3 p.m. – EasyTrip vs IEM
5 p.m. – Cignal vs Sta. Elena
The race for the last two semifinal berths further intensified after BanKo-Perlas routed BaliPure, 25-18, 25-19, 25-21, in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan City.
The win secured the Perlas Spikers at least a playoff for a semis ticket after tying the Pacifictown Army Lady Troopers for third to fourth places with identical 4-5 marks.
Army’s bid to join early semifinalists PetroGazz and Creamline came to a halt that same day after yielding to the Cool Smashers, 16-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-16.
Also in the running is No. 5 Motolite which sports a 3-6 card.
BanKo-Perlas ace Nicole Tiamzon said they will do what it takes to make it to the next round.
“We’re hungry to win and we need to work double time,” said Tiamzon, who paced BanKo-Perlas with 19 points highlighted by 17 kills.
“We can’t afford na maging complacent. Mahirap umasa sa panalo or talo ng ibang kalaban. Kahit ano man yung ibigay sa amin, kailangang paghirapan namin,” added Tiamzon as the Perlas Spikers face the Lady Troopers to clinch the third semis ticket.
Like BanKo-Perlas, Creamline also couldn’t afford to relax despite advancing to the next phase a week ago with its 8-1 mark.
Meantime, Air Force overpowered Sta. Elena, 25-22, 25-22, 26-28, 29-27, and firmed up its in the Spikers’ Turf Reinforced Conference at the Paco Arena in Manila last Tuesday.
Bryan Bagunas primed up for his upcoming stint with the National team in Thailand Open next week by firing 22 points while Kim Malabunga and Alnakran Abdilla combined for 34 markers as the Jet Spikers overpowered the Ball Hammers, 51-39, in attack points.