Banko-Perlas and Pocari Sweat-Air Force took advantage of furious starts on Sunday, besting their seeded rivals blunted by long rests to move a win each from a championship showdown.BanKo-Perlas defeated second seed PayMaya, while Pocari swept top ranked Creamline in the opener of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference bst-of-three semifinal series at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Five-time UAAP MVP Marck Espejo fired 20 points for the HD Spikers.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments The Perlas Spikers doused the High Flyers’ late-set rally to post a 25-19, 26-28, 25-23, 25-23 win.Earlier, the Pocari Lady Warriors displayed the brand of game worthy of the defending champions that they are, crushing the off-form Cool Smashers, 25-23, 25-12, 25-23.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownWhile Creamline and PayMaya reaped the benefits of making the Final Four outright, Perlas and Pocari have chances of setting up a “championship of the underdogs’ if they take the clincher in Wednesday’s Game 2.“If we play the same game we played today where we are relaxed and just enjoyed the match, we will overcome the semifinals,” said Perlas’ Thai import Jutarat Montripila. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding LATEST STORIES Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Montripila exploded with 31 points to negate the 30-point explosion of PayMaya import Tess Rountree.Pocari, having a tough time all conference after losing key players to other teams, pounced on a Creamline squad that came off a three-week lay-off.Pocari coach Jasper Jimenez credited their big opening set which threw off Creamline’s composure.“I think Creamline wasn’t used to trailing, because all conference they are usually leading,” said Jimenez in Filipino. “So our first set proved to be a big factor because we didn’t need to adjust that much.”Earlier, defending men’s champion Cignal clamped down on PLDT Home Fibr’s hitters to pound out a 25-22, 25-20, 26-24 decision in their own playoffs.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown ‘KD’ in Manila
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – UCLA starting junior center Lorenzo Mata limped toward the team bus. He wore a heavy jacket to combat the frigid temperatures and had an ice bag taped to his left hip. Bruins sophomore starting point guard Darren Collison sported a similar ice bag on his left shoulder, then explained why he didn’t play in No. 2 UCLA’s 70-65 loss to West Virginia on Saturday at the WVU Coliseum. With Collison out, freshman Russell Westbrook played a career-high 32 minutes. He went 1 of 11 from the field and scored four points. With Mata out, seldom-used sophomore center Ryan Wright saw action. Backup sophomore center Alfred Aboya played 26 minutes. “I want to play every game, but the best thing is to try and stay healthy for the near future,” Collison said. “I’m going to continue to do my rehab and treatment. I think the best thing was to stay out for this game.” Collison injured his shoulder in the second half Wednesday against USC. He tried to warm up Saturday but was scratched before the game. Mata said he awakened with a sore hip. It loosened up during pregame warumps, but tightened during the first half. Both players talked about heading back to UCLA to be treated for their injuries, and neither knew if they would be ready for this week’s trip to Arizona State and Arizona. The absence of both players put pressure on UCLA’s youth. West Virginia has a notoriously volatile crowd, led by the student section. During a mid-week game against rival Pittsburgh, the crowd taunted Panthers center Aaron Gray by chanting a term that is derogatory toward gay men. So, 80 minutes before Saturday’s tip-off, Mountaineers coach John Beilein addressed the students. He told them the school has made positive strides in changing its reputation the past few years and asked them to represent the school in a positive fashion. When the Bruins took the court for pregame layups, there was a quick chant of “U-S-A, U-S-A,” an obvious reference to a UCLA team with four foreigners. Alfred Aboya and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute are from Cameroon, Ryan Wright is from Canada and Nikola Dragovic hails from Serbia. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!