MANILA, Philippines – Bali Pure rebounded from another shaky start and pulled through in the next three sets to eke out a 17-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-22 victory over the Power Smashers on Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
With the victory, the Water Defenders snatched the early lead in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.
With both teams' imports still on the sidelines pending the release of their international transfer certificates, it was Grethcel Soltones who shone brightest as she led the Water Defenders to their second straight come-from-behind win.
Bali Pure also overcame a poor opening set to hack out a 21-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21 win over Air Force in last Sunday's opener.
Despite the win, Bali Pure coach Roger Gorayeb was far from satisfied.
"Masama ang laro. I was looking for something from my players. I told them that it's okay to commit miscues, but we should learn from every mistake," he said. "Doon papasok 'yung learning process, 'yung maturity."
After dropping the first frame, the Water Defenders again showed their resilience as they overcame the pressure-packed endgame in the next three sets.
Jerrili Malabanan led Bali Pure with 20 points, while Soltones had 15 markers and showed her leadership skills in the final three frames. The three-time NCAA MVP also contributed 12 excellent receptions and 10 digs for a "triple-double."
Malabanan and Soltones stepped up in the fourth set, as they helped Bali Pure overcome a 10-15 deficit. Malabanan had seven points in the frame, including two in the team's closing flurry, while Soltones added four.
The Power Smashers, who stunned defending champion Pocari Sweat in the opener, drew 11 points each from skipper Jovelyn Prado, Dimdim Pacres and Regine Arocha, while Katherine Villegas tallied 10 points.
Earlier, Army rallied from two sets down then out-steadied Café Lupe in the decider, 21-25, 20-25, 25-14, 25-18, 15-12, to join Army in the early lead in the men's side of the tournament.
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