BALI Pure moved a step closer to the Finals after an easy win over Pocari Sweat, 25-20, 25-19, 26-24, in the opener of their semis showdown in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Wednesday.
The Purest Water Defenders, who avenged their elimination round collapse to the Lady Warriors, 25-21, 25-6, 24-26, 25-27, 17-19, lead the best-of-three series, 1-0, but not without some tense moments
Pocari Sweat was ahead in the third set, 22-20, but Bali Pure countered with a 3-0 spurt to snatch the lead, 23-22.
The Purest Water Defenders reached match point, 24-23, but Elaine Kasilag refused to give up and tied the contest, 24-24.
Birthday girl Alyssa Valdez handed Bali Pure the second match point, 25-24, and a service ace from Amy Ahomiro sealed the win for the Purest Water Defenders.
“Muntikan nang ma-cardiac (arrest) pero no collapse,” kidded Bali Pure playing coach Charo Soriano, who was relieved to come out with a win thanks to the birthday celebrant.
Valdez, who turned 23, finished with 24 points, from 19 spikes, one block and four service aces, for the Purest Water Defenders.
“Of course this girl, the birthday girl,” said Soriano. “’Yung mga clutch talaga, we needed Alyssa Valdez and like as always she’s there talaga to deliver.”
Grethcel Soltones added 11 points for Bali Pure.
Skipper Michele Gumabao and Elaine Kasilag each had 11 markers for Pocari Sweat, while Myla Pablo, who was hospitalized on Tuesday night due to over fatigue, had seven points.
Game Two is on Saturday.