The BaliPure Water Defenders rose up from the brink of defeat in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference to stun the Chery Tiggo Crossovers in a five-set thriller, 19-25, 25-19, 13-25, 27-25, 15-12, on Thursday, July 22.
With the win, the Water Defenders poured into the win column with a 1-1 slate, while the Crossovers skidded to their first loss with a 3-1 record.
Player of the Game Graze Bombita led the late-game rally from a 1-2 set deficit with 24 points off 21 attacks, 2 blocks, and an ace.
Bern Flora bloomed late as well, and chipped in 16 markers and 17 excellent receptions, while Alina Bicar also made her presence felt with 24 excellent sets and 22 excellent digs.
The game looked all but over in favor of the powerhouse Crossovers in the fourth set as they mounted a 19-13 lead off one of many kills by national team star Jaja Santiago.
However, the Defenders refused to roll over easily, and fired off a 9-3 response, including three straight Bombita points, for the 22-all tie. Both teams then traded set points before Flora closed the comeback set, 27-25, with three straight hits of her own.
Although the Crossovers fought point-for-point until a 10-all tie in the deciding fifth set, Bombita led one last 4-1 run to slay the Chery Tiggo giants for good.
BaliPure head coach John Abella was simply elated after his team rose all the way back after practically being left for dead in the fourth set.
“Siyempre sobrang saya namin kasi pinaghandaan namin sa training pa lang kahapon, we had a film viewing. At least maganda ‘yung napakita. Nag-translate talaga sa laro kung ano man ‘yung usapan namin kahapon,” he said.
“Sabi nga ni Graze, nakaka-high morale ‘yung panalo na ‘to, especially Chery Tiggo na natalo namin, one of the contenders talaga ‘to going into the tournament.”
(Of course, we’re really happy because we really prepared and viewed film for this game in training. At least, we showed up with a good game. Our discussions really translated well into the game. As Graze said, this win gives off really high morale, especially since we beat Chery Tiggo, one of the contenders going into the tournament.)
BaliPure will look to build off this breakthrough win as they next face the Cignal HD Spikers on Sunday, July 25, 7 pm.
Meanwhile, Chery Tiggo is tentatively scheduled to face the returning Perlas Spikers on Monday, July 26. However, that may likely be changed as Perlas will already return a day before on Sunday, 4pm, against the Choco Mucho Flying Titans. – Rappler.com