After a week-long layoff, top seed Bali Pure returned to action when it collided with Creamline in the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.
The Purest Water Defenders showed no rust.
Despite a shaky start, they still found a way to rout the Cool Smashers in four sets, 22-25, 25-23, 25-14, 25-21, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
American reinforcement Jennifer Keddy displayed an all-around scoring performance while Thai import Jeng Bualee had a rough game.
She finished with 24 points anchored on 13 attacks, five blocks and six aces for the Purest Water Defenders, who drew the first blood in their best-three-showdown.
On the other hand, Bualee was limited to a rare five-point outing as she was nursing a shoulder injury on top of an emotional pain following the death of her bestfriend’s mother.
Filipino-Japanese Risa Sato and skipper Grethcel Soltones also made their presence felt and supported Keddy, tallying 13 and 11 markers, respectively.
Shortly after booking an outright semis berth, Bali Pure went for a breathing space in Subic while waiting for its opponent.
But the well-deserved break didn’t stop them from thrashing the Cool Smashers.
Seasoned mentor Roger Gorayeb said he reminded his wards to take it with professionalism and use it to their advantage.
[quote]”Sabi kong nga sa mga bata na, ‘we have to treat this as professional as we can kahit mga bata kayo.’”[/quote]
Even if the Purest Water Defenders are just a win away from marching into the finals, Gorayeb said they have no time to celebrate until they wrap up their best-of-three showdown.
[quote]”I have still to remind my players that we are not yet in the finals. So we have to take this round as if we are on it to get in there.”[/quote]
Still, his end goal would be to win a title.
[quote]”I want to give Bali Pure its first championship.”[/quote]
[quote]”Gusto ko sila bigyan kasi they are the ones that are supporting volleyball and this competition so might as well give them something na hindi sila umalis dito, na di sila madala.”[/quote]
With that, Gorayeb vowed to do his best to lead his team to the ultimate goal — not just for himself but also for his wards and the management.
[quote]”I’m just telling the girls that this is all for you.”[/quote]