MANILA, Philippines – Pocari-Air Force bucked the absence of local ace Myla Pablo and turned back BanKo-Perlas, 25-22, 17-25, 16-25, 26-24, 15-11, to zero in on 3rd place honors in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference on Sunday, July 8, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Maddie Palmer unloaded 22 attack points, the last 3 giving the Lady Warriors a 12-9 cushion in the 5th before Arie Love took over with back-to-back hits and Elaine Kasilag finished off the rallying Perlas Spikers with a dump at the start of their best-of-3 series for 3rd place.
Palmer delivered two aces in a 24-hit output while Love and a slew of locals also stepped up for the dethroned champions, who lost Pablo to injury before the start of their do-or-die semifinal match with the Creamline Cool Smashers last Friday.
But the Lady Warriors still lived up to their name, fighting back from 1-2 set down and recovering from a late 4th-set meltdown before holding sway in the 5th to steal the victory from the Spikers.
“We’re disappointed of not being able to make it to the finals but we stayed focused on this game,” said Palmer.
Pocari nearly blew a 24-21 edge in the fourth as BanKo-Perlas, with Kia Bright on the attack, scored 3 straight points to extend the match. But an Amy Ahomiro service error and a Del Palomata quick hit sent the match into a deciding 5th.
The Lady Warriors came up with back-to-back kill blocks off Bright to take early control in the decider, padded their lead to 9-5 on a Kasilag ace then withstood the Spikers’ fightback of 3 straight hits that put them back within one.
But Palmer hammered in 3 hits against Jutarat Montripila’s off-the-block point and Love scored on a kill and a push to neutralize Ahomiro’s two points before Kasilag came through with that dink after a brief rally to complete their come-from-behind triumph.
They go for the clincher on Wednesday, also at the MOA Arena. – Rappler.com