BanKo-Perlas sparked late but just in time to snatch a stirring 25-27, 10-25, 27-25, 26-24, 16-14 victory over a visibly shocked PacificTown Army to move a win from claiming third place honors in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan yesterday.
The Perlas Spikers flashed their big fighting heart to rally from a two-set deficit and turn what had appeared to a lousy outing into the fiery ending behind a late-surging Thai Sutadta Chuewulim and fellow import Stiix Horton and locals Dzi Gervacio, Nicole Tiamzon, Kathy Bersola and Sue Roces.
Despite forcing a decider, the Perlas Spikers still trailed in the early going, 4-6, forcing a tie late at 11 and saved a match point on a Roces’ running attack with Tiamzon blasting in a crosscourt hit to turn things around before BanKo took the opener of their best-of-three series on a Royse Tubino short hit that slammed into the net.
It was indeed a surprise victory for the Perlas Spikers, who looked headed for a shutout loss after dropping a tight first set and playing almost half-heartedly in the next.
“We have to go through with it. We were so frustrated in the first set and failed to recover in the second,” said Tiamzon, who finished with 18 points, including 15 attack points, and 13 digs.
Bersola and Roces added 11 markers apiece for BanKo, which also drew a combined 28-point output from Chuewulim and Gervacio, who punched in crucial hits in the fourth. The Thai also came up with a superb floor defense with 31 digs and 18 excellent receptions.
Chuewulim also had a key blast in the fifth, tying it at 13 after Horton scored on a soft hit for a 12-all count.
In contrast, it was a heartbreaking defeat for the Lady Troopers, who pulled through in a back-and-forth opening frame then cruised in the next to move a set from sweeping their rivals.
Import Olena Lymareva-Flink fried 24 kills and finished with 26 points while Tubino added 24, all on kills, and Jenelle Jordan had 18 markers, the last on a quick hit that gave PacificTown its last hold of the last at 14-13. Ging Balse-Pabayo also had 12 points while Jovelyn Gonzaga struggled for just six markers but made 23 digs and 17 excellent receptions.
The Perlas Spikers shoot for the clincher on Saturday.