American import Janisa Johnson towed the BaliPure-NU Water Defenders in a five-set victory over the Petro Gazz Angels, 22-25, 25-23, 28-26, 22-25, 15-12, in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Fresh from playing in two tournaments in France, Johnson shined on her PVL debut with a stellar 31-point outing built on 27 attacks and four aces.
Former two-time UAAP juniors MVP Princess Robles American reinforcement Alexis Matthews finished produced 17 and 15 markers, respectively, to help the Water Defenders claim their first win in two games.
Despite giving up 46 unforced errors, the young BaliPure-NU squad, comprising mostly of high school standouts from Nazareth School of National University, still managed to outlast Petro Gazz.
With the score locked at 8-8 in the fifth set, the Water Defenders took a couple of points off the Angels' miscues. Johnson converted on a down-the-line hit then Robles fired an ace to complete their 4-0 blitz that made it 12-8.
Roselyn Doria scored on a quick kill to send BaliPure-NU to match point. Petro Gazz got back-to-back markers before Johnson delivered the finishing blow for the Water Defenders off a combination play.
The Angels remained winless after three outings despite combined 43 points from Ukrainian Anastasia Trach and Estonian Kadi Kullerkann.
Meanwhile, the Tacloban Fighting Warays notched their second consecutive win at the expense of the BanKo-Perlas Spikers, 25-27, 28-26, 25-19, 25-23.
"Our game plan was 90 percent followed. I just reminded them to follow what we practiced and the players listened," said head coach Nes Pamilar.
Tacloban and BanKo Perlas figured in a tight back-and-forth battle in the first two extended sets. The competitive squads ended up in a 1-1 deadlock heading into the third frame.
The Fighting Warays cruised to a Set 3 triumph but had to fight tooth and nail again in the fourth period to complete the tough victory.
Thai import Amporn Hyapha topped with 28 points on 25 spikes and three blocks, while team captain Jovie Prado contributed 16 markers.
Au Montripila and Kia Bright paced the Spikers with 22 and 16 points, respectively.
Tacloban soared to the top of the standings alongside Creamline and PayMaya as they all sport identical 2-1 records. BanKo-Perlas, on the other hand, fell to 1-2.