V-League Media Bureau
15 November 2016

Pocari Sweat pulled through in a fierce fourth set duel, pouncing on two Customs errors at endgame to hack out a 25-14, 25-10, 22-25, 25-23 victory and claim the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference crown via sweep before a big Monday crowd at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Threatened by the resurgent Transformers in the fourth, Pocari turned to Breanna Mackie in the clutch with the power-hitting import scoring on back-to-back hits that made it 23-22 and after Rose Marie Vargas tied it for the last time with an off the block hit, the Lady Warriors took the match – and the championship – on a Vargas attack error and an ace from Siemens Dadang.

Confettis rained down the court after Alyssa Valdez failed to return Dadang’s serve and the Lady Warriors whopped it up to celebrate not only the victory that once looked like a lopsided romp but also a successful maiden campaign in the country’s premier women’s volley league sponsored by Shakey’s.

Mackie, who was earlier named the best foreign guest player in the season-ending conference of the league where it all started, finished with 23 hits, including 21 attack points, while providing the Lady Warriors the spunk in a down-to-the-wire duel in the fourth.

Kay Kacsits and Myla Pablo backed her up with 14 and 13 points, respectively, while skipper Michelle Gumabao also stepped up big, coming through with timely hits to finish with 14 points and clinch the Finals MVP honors.

“Everything worked out for us in the end and we ended the way we wanted it – with the championship,” said Gumabao, also named the conference’s best opposite spiker.

Solid with its blocking the first time out, which it took, 25-22, 25-18, 25-18, Pocari Sweat flaunted its scorching attacking game this time, blitzing Customs with power, brutal spikes to seize a 2-0 set lead in convincing fashions.

But the Lady Warriors appeared to have slowed down in the third, enabling the Transformers to mount a comeback and turn the match into what it was expected – a thriller.

But in the end, Pocari proved steadier, displaying grace under pressure to frustrate Valdez and the Transformers and complete an amazing 10-game sweep after dropping its opening game to Air Force last Oct. 5, including its two-game romp over Customs in the best-of-three finals.

“We peaked at he right time. Going to this tournament, our locals have prior commitments and we hardly played as a team. But it’s a good thing that they jelled at the right time,” said coach Rommel Abella, who steered Pocari to its second straight championship, counting its Open Conference feat on the company’s first foray in the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.

Earlier named the conference’s MVP and first best outside spiker, Valdez struggled for just 10 points but Thai import Kanjana Kuthaisong pumped in a game-hit 32-hit output for the Transformers.

Earlier, BaliPure survived a first set scare, wore down UST in the second before cruising to a 25-23, 25-19, 25-11 victory for the bronze.

Import Katherine Morrell mocked UST’s net defense with 22 attack points for a 24-hit effort while Dzi Gervacio and Amy Ahomiro combined for 16 points as the Purest Water Defenders wrapped up their best-of-three series for third at 2-0, counting their 19-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-18 win in Game One Saturday.

The bronze medal effort was the second for BaliPure, which also swept Team Laoag to clinch third place in the Open Conference.