BaliPure fought back from big deficits in the last two sets and snatched a 26-24, 17-25, 25-23, 28-26 victory over Creamline yesterday to regain the solo lead in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Risa Sato hammered in 16 hits, including 13 attack points, while Jerrili Malabanan continued to dish out big games, coming through with 15 points as the Water Defenders put up a late charge in the last two frames to stun the Cool Smashers.
It was a big win for BaliPure, which bounced back from a setback to a surging Perlas side last Saturday that snapped its three-game run in the season-opening conference of the league which continued to play all Filipino pending the issuance of the ITCs (International Transfer Certificate) for the six teams’ imports.
Meanwhile, Ricky Palou of the organizing Sports Vision said they were still awaiting words from the LVPI (Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc.) and the FIVB, the world governing body for the sport, regarding the ITCs.
“I’ve been told by Peter Cayco of LVPI that he will talk directly to the FIVB official handling ITCs at 11 p.m. tonight (yesterday) to help us resolve this,” said Palou.
“If we there will be no ITCs after tonight, we’ll be forced to go all-Filipino the rest of the way,” he added.
Palou also wondered why the application of ITCs has been delayed since such can be acquired in less than a day.
“You can do as many ITCs you want in less than a day, we don’t understand why it’s taking so long,” said Palou.
With a 4-1 card, BaliPure, which also drew a combined 22-point output from Grethcel Soltones and Aiko Urdas, regained the lead although Pocari Sweat could re-take it with a victory over Perlas in a match being played at presstime.
The loss was the fourth in six games for Creamline, which drew another 27-hit game from top draw Alyssa Valdez, but failed to pull it off at endgame.
The Cool Smashers surged to a 21-17 lead in the third set but the Water Defenders struck back and won eight of the last 12 points to steal the set and go 2-1.
BaliPure also trailed late in the fourth set but like in the previous frame, the Water Defenders unleashed a strong finishing kick to frustrate the Cool Smashers, who also got 15 points from Pau Soriano and 11 from Aurea Racraquin.
Earlier, Cignal TV fought back from 1-2 set down then dominated Army in the decider to carve out a 25-27, 25-12, 21-25, 25-17, 15-8 victory in a duel of unbeaten teams in the men’s side of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.
Mark Alfafara fired 19 hits Ysrael Marasigan hammered in 17 points and Lorenzo Capate, Rex Intal and Peter Torres combined for 35 markers as the HD Spikers outlasted the Troopers to stretch their win run to three.
Army dropped to 2-1.