(Malolos Sports and Convention Center)
4 p.m. – Tacloban vs PetroGazz
6 p.m. – Ateneo vs BanKo-Perlas
On the brink of another defeat, Pocari-Air Force relied on its big fighting heart then pounced on PetroGazz’s miscues in the stretch to pound out a 17-25, 27-29, 25-16, 25-23, 15-13 decision and stay in the semifinal hunt in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan on Wednesday.
Myla Pablo, doing what she does best, took charge at endgame, delivering three crucial hits as the Lady Warriors snapped an alarming two-game skid to the Tacloban Fighting Warays and the surging Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles to get back into the thick of things heading to the last two weeks of the double-round elims of the season-ending conference organized by Sports Vision.
Pocari-Air Force remained at fifth at 5-5 but now just half-a-game behind its victim as PetroGazz dropped to 5-4 after blowing an imposing two-set lead and yielding the match on errors, the last a service miscue by Rachel Austero that somewhat put an anti-climactic ending to what had appeared to be a thrilling finish.
A crossing violation earlier enabled Pocari to tie the match at 11 then Pablo came through with back-to-back power hits to give the Lady Warriors a two-point cushion before the former MVP put Pocari at match point with her 22nd point in an off-the-block fashion that likewise negated the Lady Warriors’ error in the previous play.
Pablo had the chance to wrap it all up in another Pocari offensive attack but Jonah Sabete foiled her attempt to put the Angels back in the match at 13-14, only to yield it on an Austero’s strong serve that went wide.
The victory also duplicated Pocari’s five-set escape over PetroGazz in their first round meeting last Sept. 26 but more importantly, it sent the Lady Warriors, who also drew big games from Del Palomata, Jeanette Panaga and Joy Cases, back in the Final Four race. The former PVL Reinforced Conference champions, however, will have a lot of toughening up to do when they square off next with the Creamline Cool Smashers in a blockbuster out-of-town match in Legazpi City on Saturday.