BaliPure one win away from PVL title after straight-sets shocker over Pocari
Risa Sato and the Water Defenders take the opener of the finals rematch with the Lady Warriors. Dante Peralta

BALIPURE stunned defending champion Pocari Sweat, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22, on Saturday to move a step closer to the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference title at The Arena in San Juan.

Aiko Urdas scored 15 points for the Water Defenders, who are looking to avenge their Reinforced Conference finals loss to the Lady Warriors.

Jerrili Malabanan had 14 points and Second Best Outside Spiker Grethcel Soltones added 10 in the one hour and 22-minute match.

“Confident kami, we will just capitalize on this win,” said BaliPure coach Roger Gorayeb. “Psychologically when we go to the next game may advantage na kami.”

The second match of the best-of-three series is on Wednesday.

BaliPure started the conference with a 2-1 record before absorbing back-to-back losses but found their rhythm and scored big wins over Adamson University and Pocari Sweat towards the end of the eliminations.

The Water Defenders also overcame a 0-1 deficit in a best-of-three semifinals series against Creamline to arrange a title showdown with the Lady Warriors.

“Almost hindi na sila makalaro, almost ma-out na kami, ang hirap ng pinagdaanan namin, nag roller coaster (ride) kami,” said Gorayeb. 

“Kaya lang kasi itong mga bata na ’to, what you see what you get,” he added. “Isa lang sikreto namin, nagmamahalan lahat, masaya kami na nagsasama kami.”

Elaine Kasilag led the way for Pocari Sweat with 11 points, conference Most Valuable Player Myla Pablo and Jeanette Panaga each had nine markers and Cai Nepomuceno contributed eight points.

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