The most anticipated full strength match between Pocari Sweat and Bali Pure ended quite easy when the birthday girl Valdez dropped 24 points and the team grabbed a straight-set victory 25-20, 25-19, 26-24 against Lady Warriors on Shakey’s V-League Open Conference semifinals series, Wednesday night, June 29, at the FilOil Flying V Arena.
While Valdez turned 23 on 29th she did prove to the world why she is one of the best volleyball players of her time by smashing 24 points, 19 kills, one block and four service aces. With prominent smile on her face, Valdez and the team avenged their elimination round to Pocari Sweat now lead the best-of-three series, however the game did involve some tense moments. Grethcel Soltones had 11 points for Bali Pure.
Lady Warriors were ahead in the third set, 22-20, yet Water Defenders countered with 3-0 squirt to earn the lead, 23-22. In total, Bali Pure attempted 33 blocks, out of which 3 turned into points in Wednesday’s game. Even after the Bali Pure reaching the peak moment 24-23, Elaine Kasilag did not give up and brought the game to a tied content 24-24. Michele Gumabao and Elaine Kasilag both had 11 markers each for Lady Warrior, while Myla Pablo had seven points even after getting hospitalized on Tuesday night for over fatigue cause.
“Everyone was just working hard and working together. We needed Alyssa Valdez for the clutch. She’s always there to deliver for us,” said team coach Soriano.
It was all emotional moment for Valdez when her fan displayed a huge banner “Happy Birthday Alyssa Valdez” prior semifinals started. Her fans brought in number of cakes, gifts and flowers to celebrate her birthday. With eyes filled with hope, Valdez made a silent wish before blowing the candle. We also found Kiefer Ravena Volleyball star at the venue.
Game Two is schedule for Saturday at the same venue.