POCARI top hitter Myla Pablo suffered an injury but Michelle Strizak and Edina Selimovic took charge as expected for Pocari Sweat after imports were cleared to play in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, leading the Lady Warriors to a 18-25, 20-25, 26-24, 27-25, 15-13 victory over BaliPure on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Pablo had to be brought to a hospital after hurting her back in the second set, but the Lady Warriors managed to take the victory in five sets and stretch their win streak to six.
Selimovic had 24 points from 17 attacks and seven of the team’s 14 blocks, while Strizak added 16, Elaine Kasilag chipped in 13 and Jeanette Panaga made 12.
“‘Yung effort nila nasatisfy ako from the fourth set going to the fifth set kasi they didn’t let up, ’yung effort nila andoon. Saludo ako sa effort nila,” said coach Rommel Abella, noting Selimovic’s blocking was big lift for Pocari Sweat.
“Especially sa fourth set, ’yun naman talaga nagpahabol sa amin,” he added.
Back-to-back errors from BaliPure gave Pocari Sweat a 13-12 lead in the fifth set, before a kill block from Selimovic on Jennifer Keddy pushed the Lady Warriors at match point.
BaliPure saved match point but Michelle Strizak sealed the win for Pocari Sweat.
All the PVL imports finally secured their International Transfer Certificates on Thursday morning and Abella said it was great timing for the Lady Warriors, who were coming off a five-set match with the Perlas Spikers.
“Yes, kasi yesterday hindi kami nakapag training ng six-on-six with the imports kasi we just came from a five-setter match, so hindi namin pwedeng pilitin ang mga players na maglaro ng six-on-six yesterday so naging factor din ’yun,” he said.
“So siguro going to the later stages ng fourth at fifth set since magkakakilala naman sila maglaro ’yun na ang nagdala sa amin,” he added.
Selimovic has been in the country since January, while Strizak arrived a month before the tournament started.
Keddy scored 21 points, Grethcel Soltones added 18 and returning Thai import Jeng Bualee scored 17 for BaliPure, who dropped to 4-2.