Perlas Spikers sweep PVL quarters, nail semis berth
MANILA, Philippines – The BanKo Perlas Spikers clinched the number 3 seed in the semifinals after sweeping the quarterfinal round of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Season 2 Reinforced Conference.
The Perlas Spikers drubbed the Petro Gazz Angels, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19, to complete a 5-0 sweep of the round on Wednesday, June 27, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
American import Lakia Bright topscored for Banko Perlas with a huge 21 points, 19 coming off attacks, while Thai import Jutarat Montripilat tallied 12 points and 12 digs.
Banko Perlas will take on next the second-ranked PayMaya High Flyers, who clinched an outright semifinal berth after finishing in the top two of the eliminations.
Creamline, which secured the top seed after dominating the elimination round, will clash with defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force in the other semifinal pairing.
"Relaxed na kami nitong 3rd set kasi alam namin na number one na kami sa quarters. So magaan na yung pakiramdam ng players," said Perlas Spikers head coach Ariel Dela Cruz.
(We played relaxed in the 3rd set because we knew we're already the number one team in the quarterfinals. So the players weren't feeling pressured.)
The Angels tried to keep pace behind Olena Lymareva-Flink, but the Perlas Spikers managed to quell every comeback attempt.
Lymareva-Flink led the Angels with 17 points, while Anastasiia Trach also tallied 13 points with 9 attacks, 3 blocks, and one ace.
Dela Cruz hopes the Perlas Spikers' strong quarterfinal run will give them an advantage over the High Flyers.
"Advantage namin is yung dere-derecho yung game namin, active kami. Sila medyo napahinga sa laro," he said.
(We've been playing straight games, we're active, and that could be our advantage. They had a long break.) – Carla Molina/Rappler.com