EARLY semifinalist BaliPure looks to keep the No. 1 spot but coach Roger Gorayeb says he won’t ask the players to push too hard in their final elimination-round match, against Power Smashers on Thursday in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The Water Defenders secured the first outright spot in the semifinals with a 7-2 win-loss record, while defending champion Pocari Sweat is running second with a 6-3 mark.
Power Smashers are tied for third with the Perlas Spikers at 5-4.
BaliPure is playing its seventh match in 13 days, and Gorayeb is wary of burning out the team led by NU standouts Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas and Jasmine Nabor, San Sebastian ace Grethcel Soltones, Thai import Jeng Bualee and American Jennifer Keddy.
The Water Defenders and Power Smashers face off at 4 p.m.
“Wala, hindi na kami magpapahinga, we should be professional on this kaya lang syempre hindi na kami ’yung talagang magpapakamatay,” said the veteran mentor.
“Reserba muna namin ‘yun energy kasi sobrang hirap ng laro namin sunod sunod.”
BaliPure scored a straight-sets win over Air Force on Saturday but had to play five grueling sets with Perlas at the PhilSports Arena on Sunday before again getting stretched to the limit by Creamline on Tuesday.
“Mabigat yung linggo super exhausted talaga tas gabi na natapos ‘yun,” he said.
Still, the former national team coach is glad Balipure has secured a spot in the semifinals and says he doesn’t expect much from his exhausted team in the final elimination-round match.
“Thursday wala na kong gustong makita pa kasi pagod (na ang mga bata) bahala muna sila sa baba andun na kami sa taas,” he said.
“Gusto ko syempre mamaintain namin ‘yung (pagiging) No.1.”