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    Pocari, Air Force clash for semis spot as BaliPure battles Adamson to stay alive in PVL playoff race

    Jul 25, 2017
    Pocari looks to join Creamline in the semifinals with a win over Air Force. Dante Peralta

    DEFENDING champion Pocari Sweat and Air Force clash for a spot in the semifinals, while BaliPure fights for dear life when the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference resumes action on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.

    Game time between the Lady Warriors and Lady Jet Spikers is at 6:30 p.m. where a semis berth is at stake for the winner of this crucial clash between two teams with identical 4-1 win-loss cards.

    Coming from an easy win over Adamson on Sunday, Pocari Sweat coach Rico de Guzman wants his wards to have the killer instinct early in the match and sustain the intensity until the finish.

    “Kaya nagagalit ako kasi mas madami pang ginawang mali kaysa sa tama (against Adamson). Gusto ko ma-improve namin ang first ball namin,” he said.

    Led by Myla Pablo, Cai Nepomuceno, Elaine Kasilag and Jeanette Panaga, Pocari needs to work double time to help libero Melissa Gohing on the defensive end.

    Meanwhile, the Lady Jet Spikers hope to sustain momentum after a big win over the Power Smashers, 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 17-25, 15-13.

    “Ang laking impact sa amin nito kasi kung natalo kami alanganin pa kami, so nasungkit namin, pinaghirapan naman ng mga bata so ang taas ng morale ng team ngayon,” said Air Force coach Jasper Jimenez.

    The veteran mentor admitted his team is the underdog against the three-time PVL champion, but urged his wards not to be intimidated.

    “Must-win pa rin kami, one game at a time, focus kami. Although big name ‘yun, favorites, we’ll try our best,” he said.

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    Jimenez will bank on May Ann Pantino, Joy Cases, Iari Yongco and Jocemer Tapic after they led the way for the Lady Jet Spikers in their previous outing.

    On the other hand, BaliPure battles Adamson to keep their semis hopes alive.

    Coming from back-to-back five-setter losses, the Water Defenders hope to stay in the semis race when they collide with the Lady Falcons at 4:00 p.m.

    The All-Filipino Conference first runner-up is at the fifth spot with a 2-3 win-loss card, behind BanKo-Perlas (3-3), Pocari Sweat (4-1), Air Force (4-1) and semifinalist Creamline (6-0).

    BaliPure will rely on former three-time NCAA MVP Grethcel Soltones, Far Eastern University hitter Jerrili Malabanan and National University troika Aiko Urdas, Risa Sato and Jasmine Nabor to lead the way against Adamson.

    But the Lady Falcons will try to play the spoiler’s role behind veteran Jema Galanza, Christine Soyud and Lea-Ann Perez.

    Adamson is at the sixth spot with a 1-4 win-loss record.

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    Pocari looks to join Creamline in the semifinals with a win over Air Force. Dante Peralta
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