POCARI Sweat inched closer to the nabbing a finals berth after it dominated University of Santo Tomas, 25-16, 25-15, 25-22, in Game One of the best-of-three semifinals series of the Shakey's V-League Reinforced Conference at the PhilSports Arena on Saturday.
American import Bre Mackie unloaded 19 points for the Lady Warriors as they looked to book a return trip to the title series after a successful championship run in the Open Conference.
Skipper Michele Gumabao and American reinforcement Andrea Kacsits added 10 markers apiece for Pocari Sweat.
“I guess maganda ang gising nila (players),” kidded Pocari Sweat coach Rommel Abella while pointing to Gumabao during the post-game press conference.
“Our reception worked for us today so mas madali for our setters to make the necessary plays and make the necessary sets for our spikers,” he added.
UST was on top, 17-15, in the second set before Pocari Sweat turned the tables to its favor via a 10-1 run to steal the set.
Down by 19-24, UST saved three match points, 22-24, before Mackie scored on an off-the-block kill to send the Tigresses home and prepare for Game Two.
“Hopefully magtuluy-tuloy since nakuha na namin ang Game One,” said Abella, whose wards came from a four-set win over UST on Wednesday to end its elimination round.
“We’re going for it on Monday sa Game Two, hopefully makuha namin and hopefully ‘yung start namin ganoon pa rin. Yung intensity ng game namin at ng mga players sana ganoon pa rin,” he added. “Prior to going up against UST noong eliminations ang biggest advantage namin is ‘yung experience eh. ‘Yun talaga ang magdadala sa amin sa panalo, nag-work siya ngayon and hopefully mag-work siya ulit on Monday.”
Sisi Rondina led UST with 12 points, while EJ Laure registered her lowest output of the conference with eight markers.