IRIGA-NAVY warded off a rookie-laden but determined BaliPure side, hacking out a 25-23, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19 victory to join opening day winners PayMaya and Creamline in the early lead in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.
Import Macy Ubben came away with 26 hits, including 18 attack points and seven blocks to power the Lady Oragons past the Water Defenders, who stood their ground majority of the match with a young crew that included four high school standouts from National U.
But Ubben, along with fellow reinforcement Lauren Whyte and locals Grazielle Bombita, imposed their will and strength midway in the fourth and the Water Defenders cracked under pressure with miscues, including a service error by Princess Robles that sealed the win for the Oragons.
The Bicol-based squad thus moved into joint lead with Creamline and PayMaya, which posted a pair of straight-set victories over Petro Gazz and Tacloban in last Sunday’s inaugurals of the league organized by Sports Vision.
Whyte backed Ubben with 17 hits while Bombita added seven markers.
After dropping the first two sets, BaliPure pulled through in another tight third set duel after wresting control in the early going and surviving a near-meltdown from a 24-19 count. But the Oragons broke away from a 16-14 count in the fourth, racking up three straight hits on their way to a 24-17 bulge.
BaliPure, led by lone import Alexis Mathews, saved two match points on an Iriga service error and a kill by Mhicaela Belen but yielded the point, the set and the match on that Robles’ miscue.
Despite the loss, the Water Defenders hope to bounce back in their succeeding games with Janisa Johnson expected to suit up as the team’s other reinforcement in the season-opening conference of the league backed by Asics and Mikasa.
Earlier, Instituto Estetico Manila dealt Army its second straight defeat, carving out a 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-14 victory to join Air Force and newcomer Vice Co in the early lead in men’s division of the season-opening conference of the league.
Air Force battled back from 1-2 set down and repulsed PLDT, 25-15, 22-25, 24-26, 25-15, 15-12.
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