After a tiring campaign, reigning champion Pocari Sweat is back in the finals to defend its crown against Bali Pure in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.
The Lady Warriors sent the young Power Smashers packing in straight sets, 25-19, 25-22, 25-21, late Thursday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
It was a sweet sweep for Pocari Sweat.
Despite all the humps and bumps along the way, the Lady Warriors never surrendered. They kept on fighting as if their lives were on the line.
Now, they’re set for another tough tussle, this time, against topseed Bali Pure for the best-of-three title duel Saturday at the same venue.
Reigning titlist Pocari Sweat is out to execute its A-game in the finals with import Krystal Rivers on board.
After a long wait, Rivers finally secured her international transfer certificate (ITC) late Thursday while the match between the Lady Warriors and the Power Smashers was ongoing.
When she knew about the development, Rivers wore her Pocari Sweat uniform but opted not to enter in the game until she personally sees a copy of her ITC confirmation in her FIVB record.
[quote]“We were just looking for confirmation. I just want to be 100 percent sure that about the transfer.”[/quote]
Unfortunately, she couldn’t access the FIVB VIS system.
But with an email sent by FIVB ITC coordinator Carlos Roberto de Assis to LVPI vice president Peter Cayco that was forwarded to the PVL, it indicates that Rivers is all cleared to play.
Pocari Sweat head coach Rommel Abella said he already knew that Rivers will get her clearance on that day but decided not to field her for fair play.
[quote]“Well, actually, going to the game alam ko mayroon na but siyempre unfair naman doon sa kabilang team kung last minute, magpapalit tayo ng player.”[/quote]
[quote]”So, it’s just right na hindi na muna pinalaro.”[/quote]
An all-time leading scorer for University of Alabama in the US NCAA, Rivers, couldn’t wait to see action in the local league.
She’s excited to taste the Filipino-brand of volleyball and win back-to-back crowns for Pocari Sweat in the import-flavored conference.
[quote]“I’m ready to play. The team is excited to get me out there. I’m excited for what we can accomplish.”[/quote]
Same goes for the Lady Warriors, who are also eager to share the same court with the 5-foot-11 power-hitter.
Top local spiker Myla Pablo said they badly need Rivers to provide much-needed firepower to the team with Edina Selimovic out due to a torn hamstring.
[quote]”Siguradong mabu-boost ang morale namin, sobra. Kasi ‘yun nga, may katulong na naman kami diba.”[/quote]
Pablo and American import Michelle Strizak have been lighting up the scoreboard for Pocari Sweat since Selimovic was kept in the sidelines.
[quote]”Nakakapagod kaya kapag dalawa lang kami.”[/quote]
Now, it’s time for Rivers to take charge.
And the Lady Warriors would be out there to guide her.
[quote]”Gagabayan pa rin namin siya.”[/quote]