BALIPURE showed nerves of steel down the stretch to hammer out a thrilling 25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 26-24 win over Pocari Sweat and capture the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference crown on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Water Defenders nearly blew an 18-13 lead in the fourth frame after Pocari Sweat rallied behind Myla Pablo to tie the match at 21-all.
It was a see-saw battle after that, until Gretchel Soltones smashed a crosscourt hit followed by a Jasmine Nabor's attack that sealed the franchise's first title.
Soltones spearheaded the team's attack with 21 points, dropping four early in the final set to give the team some headway before bringing them home with timely hits.
She was named Finals MVP.
"As a team, hindi naman to inasahan. Pero sabi nga ni coach (Roger Gorayeb), alam niya na kaya namin to. Kaya nakinig lang kami sa kaniya," Soltones said.
Aiko Urdas fired 16 points, while Risa Sato had 15, including game-high three aces.
BaliPure coach Roger Gorayeb took pride of his team’s feat.
"Yung pinagdaanan namin, before the tournament started daming kumakausap sa mga bata para lumipat. Nung nag-umpisa kami we almost didn't make it to the semis. We almost didn't make it to the finals but the girls perserved. Pagdating ngayon, iba na character nila," Gorayeb said.
"Sana madala nila ito pagdating sa UAAP or NCAA. Sana ganun sila lagi regardless kung ako man yun [coach] o iba."
Pablo paced the Lady Warriors with 21 points, including 17 on attacks, while Maricar Nepomuceno added 16.