Air Force coach on four-game winning streak: “Nakakasawa din ‘yung limang straight na talo”

Back to their winning ways after five straight losses to start the tournament, it is safe to say that the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers have found their groove.

After taking an early two-set advantage, head coach Jasper Jimenez knew his squad needed to finish the match quickly as Motolite was known to stage late-game comebacks, having done it in the past two games.

“Biniro ko na kanina e—sabi ko, straight sets yan. Siguro nagkataon lang,” Jimenez said.

The Lady Jet Spikers clinched their fourth straight win after disposing of Motolite in straight sets, 25-22, 25-23, 25-20, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

After a tightly-contested opening set win, Air Force almost gave away the second salvo with Motolite leading in the latter part, 18-22.

However, the Dell Palomata-led Lady Jet Spikers strung six straight points to arrive at set point, eventually taking the two-set advantage.

Air Force pounced on their momentum as they led early in the third set, capitalizing on Motolite’s error-plagued game and varying their plays to eventually take the victory.

While no one finished in double digits for the Lady Jet Spikers, eight of the nine fielded-in players contributed to the scoring effort, with Palomata and May Pantino leading the way with nine points each.

Though Jimenez expects his squad to push their game further, he lauded his team’s four-game winning streak after starting their campaign with a five-game losing slump.

“Parang nakakasawa din ‘yung limang straight na talo e, ‘yung feeling na hindi mo maintindihan,” Jimenez said.

 

“Siguro naiisip namin before ‘yung mga ginagawa naming routine nung time na nananalo kami—nawala kasi iyon, so binalik lang namin ‘yung togetherness namin at ‘yung lumalaban kami as a team,” he added.

Jimenez also said Myla Pablo still missing action for Motolite was also a huge factor in their win earlier, noting the open spiker’s leadership and scoring prowess.

“Malaki rin na wala si Myla, kasi wala masyadong leader sa kanila, isang beterano na superstar pa. Malaking bagay ‘yung leadership ni Myla sa loob. Doon tumaas lalo ‘yung kumpiyansa ng Motolite,” the head coach said.

With the resurgence of their winning culture, Jimenez expects his squad to reach their target of finishing in the Final Four and eventually taking the championship.

The Lady Jet Spikers look to clinch their fifth straight win as they face the Banko Perlas Spikers on Sunday.

No pressure for Creamline despite tenth straight win, says Jema Galanza

With ten consecutive victories and only dropping two sets so far, the Creamline Cool Smashers have made the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference their undisputed territory.

While keeping an untainted record requires the right amount of grind and focus, Jema Galanza said there is no burden in their part to maintain their perfect run.

“Wala namang pressure, kasi si Coach Tai naman, nandoon ‘yung tiwala niya sa amin,” Galanza said.

The Cool Smashers clinched their tenth win after overpowering the Balipure Water Defenders in straight sets, 25-11, 25-15, 25-17, earlier at the Filoil Flying V Center.

Creamline looked poised all throughout the match, keeping their offensive arsenal in check and colluding for a total team effort to snatch its eighth straight-set win of the conference.

With the absence of Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado, Galanza stepped up for the Cool Smashers anew as she recorded 17 points, while Risa Sato chipped in 10.

Galanza lauded her teammates for stepping up and displaying a combined effort as they clinched another dominant straight-set win.

“Sobrang nakaka-proud kasi hindi lang ‘yung inaasahan ‘yung nakapuntos talaga—pati ‘yung mga nasa labas, talagang ready sila and nandoon ‘yung eagerness nila para maglaro sa game na ‘to,” Galanza said.

It was a good collective showing for Creamline with Morado fulfilling her national team duties in Thailand and Valdez still recovering from an ankle injury.

While their close-to-perfect performance could heighten expectations for the squad, Galanza shrugged off the pressure, saying the squad only needs to maintain character in order to continue their dominance in the tournament.

“Si Coach Tai, hindi niya kami kailangang bugbugin nang todo para magawa ‘yung gusto niya. Kami naman, matatanda na, may kanya-kanya na kaming pag-iisip, so disiplina na lang and paano iha-handle ‘yung pressure,” the open spiker said.

With the win, Creamline stands at the top of the Open Conference with a perfect record of 10-0.

The Cool Smashers look to take their eleventh straight win as they face the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers on Sept. 29.

Carlos, Molde laud Motolite’s character amid controversial calls in win over Choco Mucho

In a game plagued by controversial officiating, expect the duo of Tots Carlos and Isa Molde to provide both the scoring and the leadership for Motolite. 

Amid crucial calls that both Motolite and the Choco Mucho Flying Titans contested, the Diliman stalwarts reminded their squad to remain calm and maintain focus of their end goal.

“For me, hindi namin control ‘yung mga ganoong bagay, so control lang namin ‘yung mga sarili namin,” Carlos said.

Motolite charged to their sixth win after surviving the Flying Titans in five sets, 25-27, 15-25, 25-18, 25-17, 18-16, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

After starting slow in the first two sets, Motolite regained rhythm with Carlos and Molde at the helm of their offensive arsenal as they took the next two sets to force a decider.

However, the fifth set saw drama after controversial officiating by the referees, which Motolite head coach Godfrey Okumu–who was earlier given a yellow card in the third set–pointed out to be ‘frustrating’.

READ — Okumu ‘very frustrated’ with officiating in Motolite’s five-set win over Choco Mucho

Some calls that Motolite argued included two attacks by Carlos that were both called check ball by the linesmen but overruled by the referees, and the contested overreaching by Arianna Angustia over setter Iris Tolenada. The latter was given a yellow card after arguing the non-call.

After Motolite eventually emerged victorious in their second straight five-setter, Molde lauded the squad for basing on experience and handling the situation well.

“Nasa amin na kung paano namin iha-handle ‘yung ganon. Sa training namin, pina-practice namin ‘yung ganoon, na minsan si coach nagre-referee tapos bigla siyang tatawag ng bad call,” the open spiker said.

Carlos and Molde became Motolite’s one-two punch anew as they registered 23 points each, with the former also recording a triple-double performance. The duo also came through in their previous five-set win against the Banko Perlas Spikers as they registered 29 and 24 points respectively.

Amid controversial officiating, Carlos reminded her team to shake it off and instead make adjustments inside the court in order to win the game.

“We have to deal with it pero kailangan may mga changes din kami sa loob. Sabi nga ni coach, kailangan lumaban talaga kami,” Carlos said.

Still playing without Myla Pablo who suffered a midfoot injury, Motolite showed another total team effort with five players finishing in double digits and Tolenada dishing out 46 excellent sets.

The UP standouts commended the squad for rising up to the occasion and coming together with the absence of their top scorer.

“Maganda na kasi yung chemistry ng team e, so kung wala yung isa, kailangan naming punan yung isa. Sabi rin ni coach, hindi na pwedeng mawalan pa kami kasi sakto na lang kami–kung gusto namin ‘yung game, kailangang trabahuhin talaga,” Carlos said.

 

“Kahit wala naman si game si Ate Myla, nandiyan pa rin siya para makausap at mag-support sa amin e. Minsan tinitignan ko siya tapos doon niya sinasabi ‘yung instructions niya,” Molde added.

With the win, Motolite stands on second place with a 6-2 record and looks to continue their winning ways as they face the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers on Wednesday.

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Okumu ‘very frustrated’ with officiating in Motolite’s five-set win over Choco Mucho

While Motolite ended their first round campaign on a high note, it didn’t go down without controversy as head coach Godfrey Okumu criticized the officiating in their earlier clash against the Choco Mucho Flying Titans.

READ — Carlos, Molde take over as Motolite escapes Choco Mucho in cardiac five-setter

In a post-game interview, the Motolite head coach aired his frustration over crucial calls by the referees that almost cost them the game.

“I really don’t understand. How bad can they be? How can they not see things that even the crowd is seeing?” Okumu said.

 

“If it’s good officiating, it’s good. But if it’s bad, it’s bad. But I can’t blame them—I believe they have room for improvement,” he added.

Motolite pulled off its sixth win of the conference as they escaped the Flying Titans in five sets, 25-27, 15-25, 25-18, 25-17, 18-16, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

After a bad showing in the first two sets, Motolite got their game together by finishing strong in the next two sets to take the game to a decider.

However, the final stretch saw drama as the fifth set became plagued with crucial calls contested by both coaches.

While Motolite eventually got the last laugh in the match, Okumu refused to let the controversial officiating go as he pointed out the referees’ ‘double standards’.

“You know, there are two different people here: the coach on one side and the coach on the other side. This coach makes noise about the same call or mistake that the referee made, they get a yellow card. This other coach makes the same noise about the same mistake that was made by the opponent, they don’t get a yellow card,” Okumu said.

 

“So you’re left to wonder: why the double standard? I’m sorry to say this. Am I too tall that they would cease me when I make noise?” he added.

Motolite saw total team effort with five players in double digits, with Tots Carlos and Isa Molde providing the one-two punch anew with 23 points each.

While Okumu was happy with the team’s collective performance, he said it was also his job to fight for his team amid the controversial officiating.

“They can believe the team will always fight, that’s what we need to do. But as a coach, I have to complain things, the calls that have not been called,” Okumu said.

 

“They don’t listen to my captains—they just send them back. Sometimes I have control, but sometimes it’s just too much. I’m frustrated as a coach, very frustrated with this,” he added.

Motolite looks to start their second round campaign on a strong note as they go up against the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers on Wednesday.

ALSO READ — Tolentino’s 33-point eruption not enough as Choco Mucho yields to Motolite

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With upcoming absence, Jia Morado hopes Creamline continues team effort in second round

Before leaving tomorrow for Thailand, Jia Morado received the best sendoff from the Creamline Cool Smashers after overpowering the Chef’s Classics Lady Red Spikers in straight sets, 25-11, 25-14, 25-21, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

Creamline displayed dominance all throughout the game despite missing the services of team captain Alyssa Valdez, who recently acquired an ankle injury, to take their ninth-straight win of the tournament.

Set to follow the bulk of the national women’s volleyball team in Thailand for their training camp, Morado made sure to leave the Cool Smashers in high spirits as she led her squad’s victory with her well-distributed playmaking.

While no one finished in double digits for the Cool Smashers, it was a welcome turnout as all of their players saw action and contributed points except for the liberos.

Despite their total team effort today, the setter said the team shouldn’t stop improving and instead work harder for their upcoming games.

“We’re happy na nakapasok lahat today–everyone was able to pitch in and contribute sa points. Pero ganoon pa rin, after this win, train hard pa din kami–or sila–pagdating ng Monday,” Morado said.

While the national team mainstay expects Creamline to leave no room for complacency despite their undefeated status, she expressed satisfaction with the team reaping the fruits of their hard work.

“Every win we get is an advantage going to the semifinals and we’re taking it one game at a time. Happy naman kami na yung hard work namin sa training with Coach Tai, nagpa-pay off naman,” Morado said.

The setter will fly tomorrow to Thailand with other PVL players including Choco Mucho’s Maddie Madayag, Pacifictown Army’s Jovelyn Gonzaga, and UST’s Eya Laure together with coach Kungfu Reyes.

Despite needing to catch up with training, Morado said she is excited to connect with the other players to

“It’s the chance to represent the country and siyempre kaming mga lilipad bukas, hahabol kami sa training na nagawa na nila since Sunday,” Morado said.

 

“We need the time and the training to gel with the team. But same as before, I’m looking forward to play with the other players and learn from this as well,” she added.

With Morado and Valdez’ upcoming absence, the Cool Smashers look to rely on wing spikers Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao, and earlier’s top scorer Fille Cayetano to carry the scoring duties with Kyle Negrito orchestrating the offense.

Alyssa Valdez takes backseat for now following ankle injury

With her right ankle injury, Alyssa Valdez sits at the sidelines for now as she takes some time off to return to full form.

In a Facebook post, Republic Biscuit Corporation (REBISCO) revealed the scoring ace will undergo physical therapy following her injury, preventing her from joining the national women’s volleyball team in Thailand for their training camp.

Valdez said she sustained the injury after landing on a teammate’s foot while in training.

“Thursday morning sa training namin, I was trying to block Mama Fille kasi magsa-spike siya; pagka-land ko, I stepped on her foot then I suffered an ankle injury. I think it was midfoot,” Valdez said.

Despite being unable to play for her supposed last game with the Creamline Cool Smashers before her national team commitment, the team captain still had reasons to celebrate as her squad dismantled the Chef’s Classics Lady Red Spikers in straight sets, 25-11, 25-14, 25-21, earlier in the 2019 PVL Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

While Valdez can already walk, she said the doctor told her to rest and undergo therapy to regain full form.

“I [went to] the doctor yesterday and he advised me to rest for seven days and take therapy, [but] not advisable to go kasi baka mag-swell din ‘yung paa. Hopefully everything is clear kapag nakita na ng doctor ‘yung x-ray,” Valdez said.

Her injury will also cause Valdez to miss the national team’s Thailand training for their 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix stint as part of their preparation for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games.

But even if her doctor cleared her to play for the national team, Valdez said it is up to the coaches if she will see action as she missed opportunities to practice with the other players.

“I cannot diagnose or say kung anong nangyari sa paa ko, but it would be unfair kasi I really had no time to prepare with the team, so if I am allowed to play, it’s the call of the coaches and the management,” Valdez explained.

Right now, she is focused on getting back to her lethal form and called other players to take care as injuries come unexpectedly.

“Nung first day talaga, I can’t walk but now I can walk naman na—mas tolerable na yung pain so hopefully mas mabilis din yung recovery. Sa training it’s tiring din kaya importante talaga na alagaan ‘yung sarili,” she said.

Ten members of the 16-strong national team headlined by mainstays Aby Marano, Dawn Macandili, and Mylene Paat are already in Thailand with newcomers Kalei Mau, Alohi Robins-Hardy, and Kath Arado.

PVL players including Creamline’s Jia Morado, Choco Mucho’s Maddie Madayag, Pacifictown Army’s Jovelyn Gonzaga, and UST’s Eya Laure are set to follow with coach Kungfu Reyes tomorrow.

(Image from Facebook/Sports Vision)

Carlos-Molde duo takes over in Motolite’s five-set win over Banko

Without scoring ace Myla Pablo to help them earlier, Motolite relied on the one-two punch of Tots Carlos and Isa Molde as they pulled off a hard-earned five-set win against the Banko Perlas Spikers, 25-16, 25-21, 19-25, 29-31, 19-17, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

Losing their early two-set advantage after dropping the third and fourth sets, Motolite hung on in the extended deciding set as they pounced on Banko’s eight errors and leveled up their offense to snatch the victory, successfully bouncing back from their previous loss and taking their fifth win of the conference.

Carlos and Molde caught fire for Motolite as they tallied 29 and 24 points, respectively to bring their squad to a 5-2 record, tied with the Petro Gazz Angels.

Playing sans Pablo who suffered a midfoot sprain in their previous game against Petro Gazz, Carlos said there was no other option for her and Molde but to take over in their game earlier.

“Wala kaming choice kasi wala nang ibang magste-step up sa team kundi kaming mga wing spikers especially, kasi si Ate Myla, malaking kawalan siya sa amin. Kinausap naman na kami ni coach about it,” Carlos said.

Molde, who took over in the latter part of the fifth set as she scored four consecutive points to bring Motolite to its first match point, said their win wouldn’t be possible without the help of the whole team.

“Lahat naman nag-contribute nung fifth set e. Siguro kami lang [ni Tots] ‘yung pumatay, pero lahat nag-contribute,” Molde added.

The Diliman standouts received ample help from their teammates–setter Iris Tolenada registered 34 excellent sets compared to Jem Ferrer’s 20, while fellow wing spiker Bern Flora contributed 17 atop a triple-double performance.

Motolite looks to finish its first round campaign on a high note as they face the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in their next game. Meanwhile, the Perlas Spikers ended their first round with a 5-3 slate.

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Petro Gazz Angels to represent PH in Taiwan tourney

Following their success in the recent 2019 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, the Petro Gazz Angels look to find success in the international stage as they are set to compete in the 2019 Taichung Bank International Women’s Invitational Volleyball Tournament in Taipei, Taiwan.

Happening from Sept. 15 to 19, the Angels seek to achieve success in its first time representing the country overseas as they battle it out against top club teams from China, Japan, and Thailand.

Given the high level of competition, Petro Gazz head coach Arnold Laniog said they will give their best to win and also use the opportunity to help them grow for their ongoing local campaign.

On our part, kaya naman tayo pupunta roon is para may ma-gain yung team na experience ‘yung team sa ganitong level na makatulong sa mga campaign namin dito sa ongoing PVL Open Conference at iba pa,” Laniog said.

 

“We will try our best every game–kung palaring manalo, better. Kung hindi man, at least makita natin na maibigay natin ‘yung best natin at ibigyan natin ng magandang laban ‘yung mga opponent na makakaharap natin doon,” he added.

Meanwhile, team captain Chie Saet said the squad is excited to represent the country for the first time, saying the tournament will serve as a good opportunity to see where they are as a team.

“Masaya kami na kami ‘yung napili para i-represent ‘yung country. Blessed din kami na marami rin ‘yung sumusuporta sa amin–in return, gagawin namin ang lahat nang makakaya [namin] para maging maganda ‘yung results,” Saet said.

The Petro Gazz roster will feature an all-Filipino lineup, including setters Saet and Djanel Cheng. Wing spikers include Stephanie Mercado, Jonah Sabete, Kai Baloaloa, and Jovy Prado.

Manning the middle will be Cherry Nunag, Jeanette Panaga, and Alyssa Layug. Liberos include Cienne Cruz and Rica Jane Enclona.

 

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Alyssa Valdez ecstatic with Jovelyn Gonzaga’s PH team return: “Isa siyang inspirasyon”

National team mainstay Alyssa Valdez didn’t hide her excitement as opposite spiker Jovelyn Gonzaga marks her return with the Philippine national women’s volleyball team.

Last playing with each other in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, Valdez and Gonzaga are set to be teammates anew in this year’s edition of the biennial regional tournament.

The Creamline team captain expressed her delight to see Gonzaga donning the national team colors anew, lauding the latter for her inspiring comeback this year.

“Ang masasabi ko lang, puso at determinasyon ang [kanyang] puhunan. Isa siyang inspirasyon,” Valdez said in a post-game interview last week.

After missing out on the sport for two years due to an ACL injury, the 5-foot-7 lefty has returned to the court this year in the best way possible, playing for two different teams in two different leagues with remarkable finishes.

Gonzaga brought the Pacifictown Army Lady Troopers, who returned to the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) after two years of absence, to a bronze medal finish in the Reinforced Conference.

Meanwhile, she also led the Cignal HD Spikers to a bridesmaid finish in the Philippine Superliga, standing behind eventual champions F2 Logistics Cargo Movers.

Valdez, one of the national team’s top scorers for its past tournaments, said Gonzaga will be a needed boost not only for her scoring prowess but also the leadership she provides in the court.

“She’ll help the team not only sa pagpuntos but also the leadership. We need that, lalong-lalo na’t tayo ang magho-host at kailangan nating lumaban sa SEA Games,” the open spiker said.

Ten of the 16-strong national team members, including mainstays Aby Marano, Mylene Paat, and Dawn Macandili, are already in Thailand for a training camp as part of their preparation in the upcoming 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix.

Valdez, Gonzaga, and other PVL players including Creamline’s Jia Morado, Choco Mucho’s Maddie Madayag, and University of Santo Tomas’ Eya Laure are set to join the team on Sunday, September 15.

Motolite’s Iris Tolenada to miss PH team’s ASEAN Grand Prix stint

The unfortunate saga continues for the Philippine national women’s volleyball team as Motolite refused to let setter Iris Tolenada participate in the upcoming 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix.

Tolenada was supposed to join the Philippine delegation together with fellow Premier Volleyball League national team players in a training camp in Thailand next week to prepare for the inaugural tournament, where they will face the host country, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

However, Ricky Chan of Motolite turned down Larong Volleyball Sa Pilipinas, Inc.’s invitation, stating the setter still has duties for the squad in the ongoing PVL Open Conference.

“We regret to inform you that we cannot release Ms. Tolenada at this point in time since our team is currently playing in the Season 3 Open Conference of the Premier Volleyball League or PVL,” Chan stated in the response letter to LVPI President Jose Romasanta.

“Our team has several games scheduled already and we’re still in the middle of the first round of the conference,” he added.

Tolenada was named a member of the 16-strong national team, headlined by mainstays Alyssa Valdez, Aby Marano, Jia Morado, Mylene Paat, and Dawn Macandili. Notable additions include Kalei Mau, Alohi Robins-Hardy, Kath Arado, and the returning Jovelyn Gonzaga.

Ten players are already in Thailand with the end of their Philippine Superliga duties. Creamline’s Valdez and Morado, Pacifictown Army’s Gonzaga, UST’s Eya Laure, and Choco Mucho’s Maddie Madayag are set to join the national team on Sunday.

Tolenada’s withdrawal marks the squad’s latest setback, with Jaja Santiago also missing action for the national team last week after her club team refused to clear her for participation.

READ — Jaja Santiago out of SEA Games due to schedule conflict

Creamline’s Jema Galanza and Celine Domingo, PLDT’s Jerrili Malabanan, Motolite’s Tots Carlos, and collegiate player Gel Cayuna also begged off from the national team.

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Petro Gazz snaps Motolite’s four-game streak, soars to fifth win

The Petro Gazz Angels soared to another win after dismantling Motolite in straight sets, 25-21, 25-16, 28-26, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

The Angels held off an upstart Motolite team as they extended their winning streak to four, while ending their opponent’s four-game winning streak at the same time.

Trailing in the early stage of the opening set, Petro Gazz came together with opposite hitter Jonah Sabete leading the offensive charge against Motolite to steal the first set.

The second set started tight between the two teams, but Motolite saw an unfortunate dip in their game as scoring ace Myla Pablo went down with a foot sprain after an awkward spike approach.

READ — Myla Pablo suffers foot injury in straight-set loss against Petro Gazz

Pablo’s absence changed the complexion of the match, with the Angels cruising along for the two-set advantage against a rattled Motolite squad.

Petro Gazz experienced an early scare in the third frame as the Godfrey Okumu-led team clinched an early five-point lead, 8-3, starring Bern Flora’s three straight aces to open the set.

Despite Motolite holding a 21-18 lead to possibly extend the game, Petro Gazz showed composure with middle blockers Cherry Nunag and Jeanette Panaga supporting wing spikers Sabete and Jovy Prado to tie the game 21-all.

Both teams traded points in an extended third set, but the Angels eventually sealed the deal with Sabete’s crosscourt bomb and Nunag’s quick hit to end the game.

Sabete, Panaga, and Nunag completed the double-digit trio for Petro Gazz with 14, 13, and 10 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Pablo still finished as the top scorer for Motolite together with Tots Carlos, scoring 10 points each.

With the win, the Angels soar higher in the team standings with a 5-2 slate, while Motolite holds a 4-2 card.

Petro Gazz looks to end their first round campaign on a high note as they face the Chef’s Classics Lady Red Spikers in their next game. Meanwhile, Motolite looks to bounce back as they face the Banko Perlas Spikers on Wednesday.

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Myla Pablo suffers foot injury in straight-set loss against Petro Gazz

Tough blow for Motolite.

The squad might experience a major bump in their title campaign as scoring ace Myla Pablo went down with a foot injury in their straight-set loss, 21-25, 16-25, 26-28, earlier against the Petro Gazz Angels in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.

Already gaining rhythm midway into the second set, the open spiker fell down after an awkward spike approach. She was stretchered off the court shortly after.

Pablo will be brought to the hospital after the game, but an initial diagnosis found her injury to be a metatarsal sprain.

Her absence hurt Motolite’s chances to extend their four-game winning streak, proven by her 10-point output before exiting the match in the second set.

For now, head coach Godfrey Okumu will strongly rely on Tots Carlos, Isa Molde, Bern Flora, and veteran setter Iris Tolenada to steer the squad back to the winning column as they face the Banko Perlas Spikers next.

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Air Force coach hopes for better days ahead after halting five-game losing streak

Struggle has been the theme of the tournament so far for the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers.

Missing the previous Reinforced Conference, head coach Jasper Jimenez admitted his team found it difficult to handle the present level of the competition.

“Nalubog e. Isang factor ‘yung hindi kami nakasali ng Reinforced [Conference], kaya hindi talaga ka-kumpiyansa. Malaking [factor] talaga kapag naka-miss ng isang conference,” Jimenez said.

The Lady Jet Spikers finally snapped their five-game losing streak today as they overpowered the Chef’s Classics Lady Red Spikers in straight sets, 26-24, 25-15, 25-22, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

After a tight first set, Air Force cruised along the second salvo with middle blocker Dell Palomata catching fire and leading the offensive arsenal for the two-set advantage.

While the Nieza Viray-led Lady Red Spikers tried to resuscitate her team in the third set, her efforts proved futile as the Lady Jet Spikers showed composure in the end to emerge victorious.

While Air Force finally got its first win after six games, Jimenez said he still wasn’t satisfied with his team’s performance, citing their endgame showing as one of the main problems in their campaign this conference.

“Kahit noong first game namin sa Creamline, nandoon na kami kaso nawawala ‘yung finish. The past game namin, maingay, nag-uusap, pero sa finishing, parang hindi sila magkakakilala. Iyon pa ‘yung ini-improve namin,” the head coach said.

Three players finished in double digits for the Lady Jet Spikers, with Palomata leading the charge with 16 points. Meanwhile, Judy Caballejo and Joy Cases added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Jimenez continues to remind Palomata, his squad’s best scorer, to maintain focus and continue scoring for Air Force, saying their team would crumble without her contributions.

“Iyong motivation ko sa kanya: isa ka na sa key player diyan, kailangan mong mag-step up every game,” Jimenez said.

 

“Kailangan talaga ‘yung defense namin e, doon kasi nagsisimula lahat e. Gitna ang kulang namin, so kapag nagloko talaga si Dell, wala na kaming pamalit,” he added.

The head coach also reminded his whole team to stay focused in their PVL campaign amid the upcoming AFP Olympics.

The Jet Spikers look to end the first round on a high note as they face the Choco Mucho Flying Titans on their next game.

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Dzi Gervacio on five-set win over Balipure: ‘Those who make the errors will lose’

With a battle that quickly changed pace and momentum, errors decided the outcome of the game.

After the Banko Perlas Spikers won their fifth game of the tournament, Dzi Gervacio was relieved her team played a relatively cleaner game to emerge victorious.

“Sa ganoong dikdikan na laban, it’s those who make the errors na matatalo,” Gervacio said.

The Perlas Spikers soared to another victory after outlasting the Balipure Water Defenders in five sets, 19-25, 25-18, 25-21, 23-25, 15-12, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

After losing the opening salvo, Banko responded by taking the next two sets to come closer to the win. However, Balipure survived a tightly contested fourth set to take the game to a decider.

Leading by three points, 8-5, the Perlas Spikers seemed to lose focus as their defensive lapses helped the Water Defenders mount a six-point run, 8-11.

However, Banko showed composure as they responded right back with three straight points, 11-all, before Gervacio took over in the final stretch with back-to-back hits to take the game home.

“Si Jem din, sabi sa akin, “sa’yo na”. Kahit nung fourth set, sinabi na niya sa akin na ‘ikakarga ko na sa’yo ha’, so just be prepared for it,” Gervacio said.

The former Ateneo standout led the Perlas Spikers with 19 points, while Kathy Bersola and team captain Nicole Tiamzon added 15 and 13, respectively.

Gervacio admitted Banko struggled to find their groove all throughout the game, as they got outperformed by Balipure in spikes, blocks, and the defensive skills.

However, errors defined the game as the Water Defenders committed 40 big errors, compared to the Perlas Spikers’ 25.

“Ang sabi lang namin, basta taas lang namin ‘yung bola tapos gagawan lang ng paraan even if it’s not a perfect set, pass, or hit, tapos coverage lang,” Gervacio said.

According to her, the Perlas Spikers struggled to get back into the game after a long week of rest, saying they took a while to find their rhythm.

“Feeling ko nanibago [kami] na ang tagal ng pahinga, tapos naiba ‘yung routine even sa practice. Earlier we started really slow, so we told ourselves that we have to wake up, individually be responsible, and up the energy as a team,” Gervacio said.

The team veteran also reminded her teammates to step up after Tiamzon left the game halfway into the fourth set, as she had to catch a flight going to South Korea for a UNESCO event.

“Knowing that si Tiammy, umalis siya in the middle of the game, we had to step up and contribute for what she gives, kasi usually siya ‘yung top scorer namin lagi,” Gervacio said.

The Banko Perlas Spikers look to clinch their sixth win of the tournament as they face Motolite on Wednesday.

(Image from Facebook/Banko Perlas Spikers)

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