Pocari Sweat slams door on Iriga to stay unbeaten in Shakey's V-League
Elaine Kasilag continues to hold the fort for Pocari Sweat in the absence of injured stars Michelle Gumabao and Myla Pablo. Jaime Campos

POCARI Sweat continued to dish out top form sans two of its top hitters, beating Iriga City, 25-16, 25-18, 24-26, 25-20, Saturday to extend its win run to five in the Shakey's V-League Season 13-Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.

For the second straight game, the Lady Warriors played minus top scorers Michele Gumabao and Myla Pablo, but notched another victory just the same, moving two wins away from sweeping the single round elims of the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.

The loss, their fourth against a lone win, took the Lady Oragons out of the semis race.

Gumabao and Pablo, out with abdominal pain and back spasms, respectively, were actually in uniform, but Pocari coach Rommel Abella opted to sit out the power-hitting duo, who averaged a combined 32 hits in their first three outings in the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel.

Gumabao and Pablo also didn’t see action in Pocari's 25-17, 25-18, 25-15 triumph over Baguio last week.

With the pair out, Elaine Kasilag, who played college ball for Perpetual Help-Binan, continued to take charge for the Lady Warriors, unloading a game-high 17 hits, in the match aired live over ABS-CBN Sports + Channel 23.

Rossan Fajardo, Maricar Nepomuceno and Lutgarda Malaluan backed her up with 12 hits apiece.

But Abella is expected to field in the two when they go up against Alyssa Valdez and Bali Pure, currently tied with the Air Force Lady Jet Spikers at second with 4-1 slates, next Saturday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

"We're thinking of our game against BaliPure and maybe they (Gumabao and Pablo) could be ready by that time," said Abella.

In the Spikers' Turf Season 2 Open Conference earlier, Sta. Elena Construction fought back from two sets down to frustrate Bounty Fresh, 19-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-13. 15-11, and clinch at least a playoff for a semis berth.

Joven Camaganakan, Peter Torres and Berlin Paglinawan fired 12 hits apiece to help the Sta. Elena Spikers remain at No. 4 with a 2-2 (win-loss) record.

Bounty Fresh fell to its fourth straight defeat and out of semis contention.

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