BanKo Perlas Spikers were one win shy from barging into the Finals as they turned back a well-rested PayMaya High Flyers in four sets during the best of three semifinals of the 2018 Premiere Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, Sunday night at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Following their impressive showing in the quarterfinal round, BanKo continued their winning ways after beating PayMaya, 25-19, 26-28, 25-23, 25-23, to inch closer to their first Finals appearance.
It was tight first set before BanKo pulled away from PayMaya off a 5-1 run to post a 16-10 lead. Grethcel Soltones ended the High Flyers’ bleeding with an off the block kill before an Amy Ahomiro quick attack fueled BanKo’s late set surge to pocket the set, 25-19.
The Roger Gorayeb-backed squad rallied behind Tess Rountree’s heroics down the stretch in the extended second frame as she fired three of the last points for PayMaya, 28-26.
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Perlas Spikers kept a slim lead in the third set. Thai import Aus Montripilla sizzled as she handed the tightly-contested set, 25-23, to BanKo after back-to-back hits during the late ticks of the set.
BanKo picked up where they left off as they buried PayMaya in a 12-5 hole in the fourth set. Down by 20-14, the High Flyers slowly cut the deficit to came as close as one before BanKo shut the door on Soltones for the win.
Montripilla led all scorers as she uncorked 30 kills and an block for 31 hits to extend BanKo’s winning streak to eight dating back to the first round of preliminaries.