Sun, 14 Jan 2001

BNI faces Petrogres for volleyball league title

JAKARTA (JP): Underdog Popsivo women's team of Jakarta destroyed East Java club Petrogres' dream to take the 2000 Indonesian volleyball league title on the second day of the league's final four on Saturday.

Despite a leg injury, senior volleyballer Engel Bertha Kaize, who is a beach volleyballer, was able to motivate her team to put up a tough fight to defeat Petrogres 3-2 (25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 25-19, 15-13) at the Senayan basketball hall on Saturday.

Petrogres will have to beat defending champion Bank BNI of Jakarta 3-0 in the deciding match on Sunday to win the league, while Bank BNI only needs to win one set to retain the title.

Bank BNI faced no difficulties in ousting Perhutani of Bandung 3-0 (27-25, 25-18, 25-15). Perhutani will face Popsivo on Sunday.

"We have to be the champion. We have to win one set against Petrogres to ensure the title. Petrogres players can play fastball. But based on previous experience, we can tame them," said Siti Nurjanah, Bank BNI's team captain.

Petrogres coach Shobirin expressed surprise at his team's performance.

"I am surprise. The players' performance was not what was expected. They appeared out of form, and I also noticed that they were underestimating Popsivo," he said.

On the other hand, Popsivo coach Sarmili said his players performed without burden.

"We had no mental pressure. We have no national players on our team. This made Petrogres' players inattentive," he said.

He expressed hope that his players would play just as well on Sunday to beat Perhutani. "Insya Allah, if we can beat Perhutani, the way to becoming the league's runner-up is wide open."

Popsivo managed to enter the final four this year. Saturday was the first opportunity it had to beat Petrogres.

In the men's side, Samator of East Java edged close to the title after overcoming defending champion Yuso of Yogyakarta 3-0 (25-23, 30-28, 25-18).

Yuso will have to give up its title to either Samator or Bank BNI which will fight in the deciding match on Sunday. Yuso lost to Bank BNI 2-3 (19-25, 25-20, 25-16, 27-29, 9-15) late on Friday.

Bank BNI was still facing Perhutani on Saturday night as of press time. (ivy)