US spiker lifts BaliPure past Perlas

MANILA, Philippines — American Janisa Johnson fired 30 points and drew big help from the young local crew in the stretch as BaliPure-National University fended off BanKo-Perlas, 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 32-30, to roll to its third straight victory for a share of the lead in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.

Johnson anchored the Water Defenders’ offense for the third time-in-row, capping her game-high output with four crucial hits in the fourth.

Ivy Lacsina and Princess Robles also provided crucial hits to steer BaliPure-NU into the lead with idle PayMaya and Creamline at 3-1 marks.

Johnson pumped in 26 kills, two blocks and two aces she punctuated with 18 excellent receptions and 17 digs in a superb all-around game.

She topscored with 31 points in the Water Defenders’ first victory against Petro Gazz and paced them anew with 27 markers against Tacloban last Saturday.

American Alexis Mathews backed her up with 18 points, Alyssa Solomon added 12, while Robles hammered in BaliPure-NU’s last two points on an attack and an ace and finished with nine points.

Lacsina had two markers, including a huge block off Thai Jutarat Montripila that shoved the Water Defenders to the lead, 30-29, in the fourth.

Reigning UAAP girls Best Setter Joyme Cagande tossed in 54 excellent sets, 17 more than BanKo-Perlas’ team output.