Spikers smother Angels, tow Lady Warriors to semis

Spikers smother Angels, tow Lady Warriors to semis

High-leaping Lakia Bright of BanKo-Perlas goes for a kill against the PetroGazz Angels in their duel for the third semis seat in the PVL Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan. Joey Mendoza

MANILA, Philippines — BanKo-Perlas kept the momentum of its unbeaten run and blasted Petro Gazz, 25-19, 25-19, 25-19, yesterday to sweep the quarterfinal round and secure the third seeding in the Final Four of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.

The victory likewise gave defending champion Pocari-Air Force (4-1) a free ride to the semis of the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision. Petro Gazz, which had hoped for a three or four-set win over BanKo-Perlas to advance, bowed out with a 3-2 slate.

American Kia Bright fired a game-high 21 points built on 19 attacks and added six digs as the Perlas Spikers stretched their win run to seven, counting the last two in the elims to join Creamline and PayMaya and tow Pocari into the semis.

Amy Ahomiro pumped her fist in the air as her service ace closed the second set and assured the Spikers of the No. 3 spot.

“We really wanted to win and gain momentum heading to the semis. Though we already secured the third semis seat in the second set, I told them to finish the game in a sweep so we will have a good momentum heading to the semis,” said BanKo-Perlas coach Dong dela Cruz.

BanKo-Perlas thus arranged an interesting semis faceoff with No. 2 PayMaya while Creamline takes on Pocari in a pair of explosive best-of-three semis of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics beginning Sunday.

Thai Jutarat Montripila backed Bright with 12 markers all on attacks with 12 digs and six excellent receptions to boot, Nicole Tiamzon swung the game-clinching off-the-block hit and wound up with eight points while Ahomiro logged five markers, three on aces for the Spikers.

Ukrainian Olena Lymareva-Flink rallied the Angels with 17 points, compatriot Anastasiia Trach had 13 while Stephanie Mercado scored 10.

Ahomiro anchored BanKo-Perlas’ 6-1 closing tear on a block and a pair of aces in the first set while also pouncing on Petro Gazz’s erratic ways as the Angels gave the frame away on back-to-back miscues.

In the second set, Tiamzon rattled Petro Gazz’s net defense on off-the-block hits and swung an ace in a stretch to help BanKo-Perlas stay ahead, 21-16.

Bright, Montripila, Joy Dacoron and Tiamzon then wrapped up the match for the Spikers in a 5-0 closing surge after a slim 20-19 lead.

Meanwhile, BaliPure-NU made short work of Tacloban, 25-18, 25-16, 25-16, in a duel of ousted teams to finish with a 2-3 card. The Fighting Warays wound up without a win in five games.