Gumabao, Pablo return as Pocari battles Bali Pure in possible V-League finals preview
Pocari will have a complete lineup with the return of stars Michele Gumabao and Myla Pablo against Bali Pure. Dante Peralta

Pocari Sweat and Bali Pure finally come face to face in a duel of fancied teams with the top seeding in the Final Four at stake, while lowly teams National University and University of the Philippines battle for survival in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Both the Lady Warriors and the Water Defenders are putting their respective win streaks on the line in their keenly awaited 6:30 p.m. clash, with Pocari and Bali Pure both seeking their sixth straight victory in their final elims assignment.

The return of Pocari stars Michelle Gumabao and Myla Pablo, who missed their last two outings due to injuries, only makes what many consider a finals preview much more interesting.

“Michelle and Myla will play,” said Pocari Sweat team manager Eric Ty.

The Lady Warriors’ 1-2 punch averaged 18 and 14 hits, respectively, in three games, making them the key figures in their showdown to be aired live on ABS-CBN Sports + Channel 23.

However, the Lady Warriors have the unenviable task of neutralizing Water Defenders star spiker Alyssa Valdez’s power along with Gretchel Soltones, Amy Ahomiro, Dzi Gervacio, Janine Marciano and May Tajima.

Bali Pure will also parade a complete lineup, with ace setter Jem Ferrer and utility spiker Ella de Jesus back in the fold, guaranteeing a slam-bang affair between the powerhouse teams of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.

On the other hand, the 4 p.m. duel between the Lady Bulldogs and the Lady Maroons is equally crucial. NU and UP look to knock each other out for at least a playoff for the fourth and last semis berth in the conference also backed by Mikasa and Accel.

Tied with idle Laoag at fourth at 3-3, NU shoots for the all-important win to assure itself of at least a playoff for the last Final Four seat, while UP needs to sweep its last two games, including against Laoag on Monday, to stay in the hunt. 

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