Pocari Sweat rallies late to outlast Power Smashers in five sets for third straight win in PVL Open
Myla Pablo took charge late for Pocari to nab its third straight win. Dante Peralta

POCARI Sweat dug deep to outlast the Power Smashers, 25-19, 25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11, to remain unscathed in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.

Myla Pablo scored 30 attack points, including three in the Lady Warriors’ late rally, to bail out the defending champion and bag their third straight win to earn the top spot.

“Ganoon talaga aabot sa point na, doon ako sa porsyentuhan (ng napapatay na bola),” said Pocari Sweat coach Rico de Guzman referring to his trust on Pablo during the crucial stretch. 

Down 1-4 in the fifth set, the Lady Warriors snatched the lead, 6-5, after a Jeanette Panaga attack. But the defending champion could not get its act together as it trailed again, 8-9, before Pablo took matters into her own hands and scored on a powerful attack and a drop ball to regain control, 11-9.

Jessey de Leon sparked a 2-0 spurt followed by another strong kill by Pablo to put the Lady Warriors at match point, 14-9, but the Power Smashers stayed alive twice before Regine Arocha's service error handed the win to Pocari Sweat.

“Hindi ko alam, siguro talagang nakatatak na lagi sa Pocari 'yung fifth set, fourth set (ang laro) hindi kami makakuha ng straight sets eh,” said de Guzman. “Basta, wala sa akin 'yun, ang importante sa akin (manalo).”

Panaga made 15 points for Pocari Sweat, while Elaine Kasilag added 11 and Cai Nepomuceno chipped in 10 in a match that took two hours and six minutes to finish.

Seasoned libero Mel Gohing registered 23 digs and 13 excellent sets, while veteran playmaker Gyzelle Sy had 42 of the team’s 48 excellent sets.

Arocha and Mary Dominique Pacres each had 17 points for Power Smashers, while skipper Jovelyn Prado added 10.

The Power Smashers dropped to 0-2 for a three-way tie with Banko-Perlas and UP. 

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