By Kristel Satumbaga
(The Arena, San Juan City)
2 p.m. – BanKo-Perlas vs Ateneo-Motolite
4 p.m. – Creamline vs PetroGazz
BanKo-Perlas inched closer to its first championship appearance after surviving Ateneo-Motolite, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 15-6 on Wednesday night in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan City.
Unlike in their elimination matches, the Perlas spikers experienced some scary moments as the Lady Eagles fought back in the third and fourth frames to force a deciding fifth set.
But Former University of the Philippines standout Nicole Tiamzon and Dzi Gervacio combined forces to repel Ateneo’s comeback.
Tiamzon pumped in game-high 25 points that included 21 kills and four aces while Gervacio added 20 points.
BanKo-Perlas coach Dong Dela Cruz admitted they lost their steam in the third set, allowing Ateneo-Motolite to regain its bearings particularly in the offensive lane.
“We were just glad we were able to bounce back in that kind of situation. We needed that for more crucial matches,” Dela Cruz said, adding that it served as a lesson not to give Ateneo-Motolite an opportunity to dictate the tempo.
Kathy Bersola, another former UP mainstay, took charge of BanKo-Perlas’ defense by managing seven blocks to finish with 16 points. Sue Roces added 12 points while Jem Ferrer contributed 17 excellent sets.