Pocari, Air Force seek V-L semis

Leo Lastimosa - The Philippine Star

Games today

1 p.m. – Air Force vs Bounty Fresh (S Turf)

4 p.m. – Baguio vs Pocari Sweat (V-League)

6:30 p.m. – Laoag vs Air Force (V-League)



MANILA, Philippines - Unbeaten Pocari Sweat and Air Force try to formalize their stints in the semifinal round as they go for win No. 4 against struggling rivals in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan today.

Unscathed with three victories each, the Lady Warriors take on the winless Baguio Summer Spikers at 4 p.m. while the Jet Spikers tangle with the Laoag Power Smashers at 6:30 p.m.

Both matches will be aired live on ABS-CBN Sports + Action Channel 23 and on live stream on www.v-league.ph, according to the organizing Sports Vision.

Pocari Sweat routed Laoag, 25-21, 25-16, 25-17, last week to stretch its win run to three while Air Force matched that hot start with a 27-25, 25-19, 25-17 victory over University of the Philippines last Monday in the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.

Michele Gumabao has been dishing out big games for Pocari, norming 18 hits in their first three outings while drawing equally solid outputs from Myla Pablo and Elaine Kasilag, who complete the team’s vaunted awesome threesome.

“If we can sustain our aggressiveness in our attack, we’ll have a chance to succeed,” said Pocari coach Rommel Abella.

While Pocari thrives in attacks, Air Force has anchored its surge in defense as the Jet Spikers lead the field in blocking, receiving and digging departments on a team built around seasoned defense-minded players headed by libero Mary Ann Balmaceda, Wendy Ann Semana, May Ann Pantino, Judy Ann Caballejo, Joy Cases and Jocemar Tapic.

“There is still room for improvement but our reception and blocking are giving us a big lift thus far,” said Air Force mentor Jasper Jimenez.

Laoag is at 1-2 while Baguio is trailing the eight-team field with a 0-3 card with the duo needing no less than victories to stay in the semis hunt in the single round robin elims of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel.

In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Open Conference, Air Force (1-1) tangles with Bounty Fresh (0-1) at 1 p.m.

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