Jerrili Malabanan calms nerves after pre-game car accident to help BaliPure stay alive
Jerrili Malabanan played sparingly in the second set before eventually finding her rhythm to help BaliPure force a do-or-die match against Pocari Sweat for the PVL title. Jerome Ascano

JERRILI Malabanan overcame a shaky start due to a minor accident on the way to PhilSports Arena to help BaliPure survive a cardiac game in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference finals against Pocari Sweat on Tuesday.

The Far Eastern University ace came off the bench for the Water Defenders after head coach Roger Gorayeb noticed that her mind wasn’t on the game. 

“Magulo ang isip niya kanina kaya 'di ko nga nilagay sa first six kasi naaksidente sila sa EDSA,” bared BaliPure coach Roger Gorayeb.

Malabanan, who was driving the car, along with Grethcel Soltones, Iris Oliveros and Alyssa Eroa got involved in a minor car crash when they were on their way to the venue.

[See BaliPure averts collapse, outlasts Pocari in five-set thriller to level PVL Finals series]

“We didn't know what to do, we were freaking out,” shared Malabanan.

Still, the Fil-American spiker recovered in time to finish with 10 points in limited action as BaliPure outlasted Pocari Sweat, 25-15, 26-24, 24-26, 24-26, 15-13, to force a do-or-die match for the crown.

“I think it was worth it. It was a crazy day; getting into that accident and playing in that game," she said.

The Water Defenders forced a series decider on Thursday, 6:00 p.m., at The Arena in San Juan.

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