Surging Pocari guns for early lead as BaliPure, UP clash to get back on win track in PVL
Pocari Sweat hopes to sustain its strong start in the PVL Open Conference. Dante Peralta

DEFENDING champion Pocari Sweat aims to take the lead when it battles the Power Smashers in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.

The Lady Warriors (2-0) are looking to extend their winning run to three in their 7:30 p.m. match. And coach Rico de Guzman shared that he’s hoping for a strong start to accomplish that goal.

“Kailangan kong paghandaan ‘yun, kailangan makuha na nila ang pattern defense namin, kailangan sa first set pa lang mai-apply na namin,” said de Guzman, who also seeks another collective effort from his wards on both ends of the floor.

“Pupursigihin ko sila na maging aggressive sa floor defense, hindi ko sila titigilan hangga’t hindi nila nakukuha,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Power Smashers are coming off a tough loss to BaliPure, 15-25, 25-22, 25-20, 19-25, 6-15, but hope to bounce back with University of Santo Tomas stalwart Mary Dominique Pacres and Arellano ace Regine Arocha leading the attack.  

On the other hand, BaliPure and University of the Philippines are also seeking to get back on the winning track after suffering painful losses in the opening match of the PVL double-header at 4 p.m.

Bowing to the Alyssa Valdez-led Creamline, the Water Defenders are looking to put the loss behind them and start anew, led by top hitter Grethcel Soltones and National University trio Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas and Jasmine Nabor.

BaliPure is currently at the fourth spot with a 1-1 win-loss record.

UP, meanwhile, gave Pocari Sweat a scare before the Lady Warriors recovered to defeat the Lady Maroons,25-21, 20-25, 18-25, 21-25.

The Diliman-based squad is trying to find its rhythm after the graduation of Nicole Tiamzon, Kathy Bersola and Pia Gaiser. But Isa Molde and Diana Carlos are working double time to help UP score its first win in the tournament. 

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