Grethcel Soltones validates MVP plum by pushing Bali Pure to bronze

In the battle of the expansion teams, Bali Pure overwhelmed Laoag in Game 2 of the 13th Shakey’s V-League Open Conference to end its campaign on a good note with a bronze medal.

Though Laoag seemed ready to extend the best-of-three series to a decider in the early goings of the match, Bali Pure proved to be too strong for their opponents Saturday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig, securing a spot on the podium, 25-27, 25-22, 25-23, 25-19.

The absence of their top spiker, Alyssa Valdez, didn’t seem to be a factor as the Purest Water Defenders dominated the match with Grethcel Soltones, Amy Ahomiro, Janine Marciano, Dzi Gervacio and Mae Tajima all finishing in double digits with a combined 66-point output.

Soltones, who dominated the scoring department with 18 points, stepped up for the Charo Soriano-led squad while her fellow outside hitter, Valdez, finished her tour of duty for Ateneo at the recently concluded 2016 ASEAN University Games held in  Singapore.

Minutes after the victory, the NCAA star was awarded by the organizers with the Conference MVP plum.

For the Power Smashers, middle blocker Kat Villegas waxed hot with 16 markers while Jema Galanza and Jovielyn Prado followed suit with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Laoag’s setter and team captain Chie Saet tallied 65 excellent sets but her efforts were not enough as she and the rest of her crew will be exiting the tournament in fourth place. —By Mac Dionisio