Smarting from a heartbreaking 5-set loss last Saturday, Bali Pure played with much urgency and efficiency en route to their Game 1 victory against Pocari Sweat Wednesday night.
The Purest Water Defenders, who tumbled in crunch time in their elimination round match with the Lady Warriors, showed nerves of steel to hold off their foes, 25-20, 25-19, 26-24, to move one step closer to the finals.
Playing coach Charo Soriano said she couldn’t ask for more from her squad.
“The most important thing for a coach is the effort, and they give maximum effort today, and that won us the game, no hesitation, no doubt,” she said. “Everyone’s ready, everyone’s taking risks, no one was afraid of making mistakes, everyone just giving their best.”
Soriano singled out Janine Marciano, Jem Ferrer and birthday girl Alyssa Valdez — all of whom each had a shining moment in the morale-boosting win before a wild crowd at the venue.
Being moved to middle blocker, Marciano delivered 4 points, giving Ferrer an additional letal threat on offense.
“I was just really super proud of her because she really stepped up for this game, regardless whether we put her in the middle, or in the outside, she’s very confident,” Soriano said of the San Beda alum.
Soriano also commended her starting setter Ferrer for lifting the spirits of her teammates by playing beyond her limitations on the defensive end.
“Pag nakikita namin si Jem na umeeffort at nabe-beat nya yung blockers sa kabila, that’s a good motivation for us. Even yung team, everyone would smile kasi that’s Jem, she’s the smallest player,” she shared.
But if there’s someone Soriano expects to lead, it’s Valdez, who celebrated her 23rd birthday with a rousing victory.
“Yung mga clutch talaga, we needed Alyssa Valdez. She’s there to deliver. So she is Alyssa Valdez the Deliverer,” she said. — By Jason Mercene