MANILA, Philippines – BanKo-Perlas squandered four match points before finally putting away Iriga-Navy, 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 28-26, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Veteran setter Jem Ferrer came up with the tip that caught the Lady Oragons by surprise, as the Perlas Spikers finally claimed the elusive match-winner.
With the victory, BanKo-Perlas finished the elimination round with back-to-back wins for a 3-4 card, giving them some much-needed momentum heading into the next phase of the conference.
The Perlas Spikers are currently tied for sixth place along with the PetroGazz Angels.
BanKo-Perlas, which checked its losing streak, thanks to a five-set win over PayMaya last week, appeared to be cruising to victory after leading 22-18 in the fourth set, courtesy of a crosscourt kill from Dzi Gervacio.
But the Lady Oragons refused to fold and took the next three points – two of which came from BanKo-Perlas' errors – and forced an extension four times. They last tied the set at 26, before import Kia Bright scored on a vicious kill, and Ferrer delivered the match-clinching shot that slipped through the arms of the Iriga-Navy defenders.
"We waved in our passing game in the fourth, but they didn't give up. They really wanted to win," said BanKo-Perlas coach Dong dela Cruz.
Bright finished with 27 points on 22 attacks and four blocks, while Thai import Jutarat Montripila backed her up with 22 points.
Lauren Whyte fired 26 hits with 12 excellent digs while fellow American reinforcement Macy Ubben added 17 markers and Cyndy Imbo finished with six for the Lady Oragons, who absorbed their fifth straight defeat after an opening game victory over the BaliPure Water Defenders.
Earlier, Air Force pounced on a skidding Instituto Estetico Manila (IEM) and carved out a 25-17, 25-19, 22-25, 25-22 victory to even its card at 2-2 in the men's division of the league.
The loss was IEM's third straight after sweeping its first two games.
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