Charo Soriano, Alyssa Valdez admit Pocari Sweat simply the 'better team' in decider
Charo Soriano admitted that Bali Pure bowed to a superior team in Pocari Sweat. Dante Peralta

BALI Pure star Alyssa Valdez and playing coach Charo Soriano said Pocari Sweat was simply the 'better team' following their loss in the best-of-three semifinals of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference.

The Purest Water Defenders were already ahead by a set but the Lady Warriors turned the tables and pulled off a stunning 15-25, 27-25, 25-11, 25-23 win on Monday at the PhilSports Arena.

Valdez and playing coach Soriano were the first to congratulate their opponents.

“They really deserved the win. They train so hard. We can’t find any excuse naman kung bakit kami natalo,” said Valdez, the three-time UAAP MVP who finished with 15 points for Bali Pure.

“They really fought super as a team. They had teamwork, they had everything so they won today. Kami we’re really just happy to be back together, we’re happy to be teammates again,” added Valdez, who was reunited with former Ateneo teammates Denden Lazaro, Jem Ferrer, Dzi Gervacio and Ella de Jesus.

Soriano rued their crucial errors in the semis decider, but said it was Pocari Sweat’s smart play down the stretch that decided the match.

Rossan Fajardo, elder sister of La Salle veteran setter Kim Fajardo, scored back-to-back service aces on Valdez to tie the contest, 19-19, in the fourth set, swinging the momentum in Pocari's favor.

“They were very composed during the game. They’re the better team,” said Soriano. “It was the (turning point) when they really pulled a good substitution, putting in their service specialist and defense specialist Fajardo who scored two aces on Alyssa.”

“That rotation on Jem in front and Elaine Kasilag hitting very good down-the-line balls. And Elaine was hitting too fast and too strong and we put Karla (Bello) and Dzi to stop the down the lines, but even that we could not stop, Elaine really played very well in the fourth set,” she added.

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Bali Pure will face Laoag in a best-of-three battle for third starting on July 13.

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