Following the five-set thriller between the league-leading Creamline Cool Smashers and the dangerous Black Mamba Army, Graze Bombita and the BaliPure Water Defenders scaled the towering Santiago sisters to stun Chery Tiggo, 19-25, 25-19, 13-25, 27-25, 15-12 in the second game of the day.
In the fifth set, Bombita came through with the crucial hits to give the Water Defenders their first taste of victory in the Open Conference.
In the decisive round, with the score tied at 10 apiece, Bombita unleashed a momentum-swinging hit that ignited a vital 3-0 run to put BaliPure up 13-10.
Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat refused to give up, stringing together two quick conversions for the Crossovers until Bombita restored order with another clutch attack and Jasmine Nabor put a stop to the game after a costly setting error.
In a morale-boosting victory for BaliPure, Bombita led the scoring with 24 points on 21 attacks, two blocks, and an ace.
“Sabi nga ni Graze, nakaka-high morale yung panalo na to, especially Chery Tiggo natalo namin. One of the contenders talaga to going into the tournament. Sila yung isa sa teams na tinitingnan namin na mag-Finals, so beating them talagang nakaka-uplift ng spirit,” said BaliPure head coach John Abella.
Bern Flora helped Bombita with a double-double of 16 points and 17 receptions, while Shirley Salamagos chipped in with 10 points and Alina Bicar churned out 24 excellent sets and 22 digs.
Chery Tiggo, on the other hand, outperformed the Water Defenders in every skill category during the match, but were unable to capitalize on their advantages in the final, falling to a 2-1 record.
Santiago’s team-high 23 points were squandered, while Santiago-Manabat scored 17 points in the heartbreaking loss.