Pocari draws first blood vs UST in V-League semis
The Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors swept the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses in their best of three semi-finals, 25-16, 25-18, 25-22 at the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference on Saturday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Lady Warriors’ guest player Breanna Mackie led the pack as she scored 19 markers while Michelle Gumabao and another guest player Andrea Kacsits provided one-two punch for a combined 20 points.
The España-based spikers were ahead by two in the second set 17-15 before Pocari countered a 10-1 blitz to end the set 25-18.
Pocari continued dominating in the third set as they took an early ten-point lead, 18-8. But back-to-back errors from Lady Warriors Iris Tonelada and Mackie would spark a 5-0 run from UST to cut the lead to five.
Pocari then regrouped to grab an early match point advantage 24-19, however, UST managed to brace through three match points to put themselves into striking distance 22-24 and forced a timeout.
Mackie would end UST’s late surge with a quick off the block play after the timeout, 25-22.
Despite their backs against the wall, UST head coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes Jr. is taking the positives rather than the negatives.
“Ini-indulge namin kada moment na kalaban namin sila, kailangan hindi lang kami natututo pagkatapos, kailangan habang naglalaro natututo namin. Kailangan from there nag-aadjust,” Reyes said.
“Nandito kami natututo sa kanila at napakalaking bagay, parang nanalo na din kami dun,” he added.
Cherry Rondina paced UST with 12 points while EJ Laure added another eight and Captain Pam Lastimosa and Ria Meneses adding another 6 markers each.
The Golden Tigresses will face once more the Lady Warriors in their crucial second game of the semi-finals series on Monday, Nov. 7, at the same venue.
Photo by Joshua Lugti (file photo)