Pocari seeks to close in on PVL semis sans injured star Myla Pablo in clash with Creamline
Pocari imports Michelle Strizak and Edina Selimovic will lead the attack for the Lady Warriors against the Cool Smashers. Jaime Campos

POCARI Sweat seeks to formalize its semifinal entry as it puts its six-game run on the line against Creamline, while BaliPure tries to rebound from a sorry setback in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

The Lady Warriors are on a roll since dropping their first two matches, beating Air Force, Creamline, the Power Smashers, BaliPure and disposing of Perlas twice to zero in on the first semifinal berth in the season-opening conference of the country’s longest running volley league organized by Sports Vision.

Its come-from-behind five-set win over BaliPure last Thursday kept Pocari Sweat’s stirring rebound from a poor start going but the Lady Warriors brace for what could be their toughest test with ace Myla Pablo out due to a back injury when they face the back-to-the-wall Cool Smashers in their featured 6:30 p.m. encounter.

While Pocari is out in front with a 6-2 card, two games ahead of BaliPure’s 4-2 slate, Creamline, one of the pre-tournament favorites, is down at fifth in the six-team field with only two wins to show against four setbacks.

But with imports Laura Schaudt and Kuttika Kaewpin now finally set to see action, Alyssa Valdez expects to share the spotlight with their two reinforcements, thus easing up the load on the power-hitting spiker, who has failed to carry the team by her lonesome despite her 25-hit norm.

Meanwhile, BaliPure hopes to strike back as it likewise zeroes in on the second semis berth in the league backed by Mikasa and Asics against lowly Air Force at 4 p.m.

Perlas and the Power Smashers also tangle in a key duel at 1 p.m. with the former, which swept Air Force late Thursday, gunning for its fifth win against three losses. The Power Smashers, on the other hand, seek to improve to 4-3.

The Power Smashers and the Perlas Spikers also get the chance to showcase the skills and talent of their respective imports with the former to bank on Thais Hyapha Amporn and Kannika Thipachot along with locals Dimdim Pacres, Jovielyn Prado, Katherine Villegas, and Regine Arocha, and the latter finally unleashing the Rupia Inck of Brazil and Japanese setter Naoko Hashimoto along with local aces Dzi Gervacio, Amy Ahomiro, Nicole Tiamzon and Sue Roces.

Meanwhile, Cignal and Air Force clash in the lone men’s game at 10 a.m. with the HD Spikers going for a fourth straight win and the Jet Spikers looking for a share of the lead at 3-1.

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Standings

Pocari Sweat  6 2

BaliPure 4 2

Perlas 4 3

Power Smashers 3 3

Creamline 2 4

Air Force 1 6

Games on Saturday

10 a.m. – Cignal vs Air Force (men’s)

1 p.m. – Power Smashers vs Perlas (women’s)

4 p.m. – Air Force vs BaliPure

6:30 p.m. – Pocari Sweat vs Creamline

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