Pocari Sweat has high hopes of fielding replacement import American Krystal Rivers on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Robert Sutton, UA Athletics)
Pocari Sweat hopes to get the green light for their replacement American import Krystal Rivers to suit up on Thursday when the Lady Warriors face Perlas in the last playdate of the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference round robin quarterfinals.
The Lady Warriors are still waiting for Rivers’ International Transfer Certificate to be released for her to fill in the void left by injured Bosnian reinforcement Edina Selimovic.
Head coach Rommel Abella is optimistic that the former US NCAA Division 1 powerhitter and prolific scorer from Alabama will be able to play against the Spikers as Pocari Sweat tries to complete a sweep of the quarterfinals to clinch a best-of-three semifinals seat.
“Andyan na siya, dumating niya nung Saturday ng gabi or Sunday ng madaling-araw,” said Abella, whose wards moved a step closer to a semis spot to join BaliPure and the Power Smashers after a five-set 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 18-25, 15-11, win over Creamline Tuesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“As usual, ITC na naman ang problema natin, but ang alam ko, positive naman ‘yung news na baka on Thursday, on or before, makuha ang ITC niya,” Abella added.
Pocari Sweat tapped Rivers after Selimovic sustained a right hamstring injury after just two games. Selimovic and partner American outside hitter Michelle Strizak only saw action in the second round of the prelims after a long delay on the release of their ITCs.
The Lady Warriors need to win their last match to avoid complications if ever there will be a three-way tie at 2-1 slate.
In case of this scenario, the two teams with the highest tiebreaks will advance in the semis. Pocari Sweat won both of its quarterfinals games in five sets.
The Lady Warriors need the 5-foot-11 Rivers as added firepower to help Strizak, Myla Pablo, Cai Nepomuceno, Desiree Dadang and Jeannette Panaga.
“Hopefully matuloy nga, kasi ‘yung bata eager to play. Sa training kahapon, kahit may jetlag pa at naninibago sa time zone, kita mo ‘yung passion niya sa laro,” said Abella. “Hopefully, not only for the benefit of our team, but also for the benefit ng PVL and ‘yung fans ng volleyball in general. Marami rin tayong matutunan sa kanya.”
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