Michele Gumabao, Myla Pablo star as Pocari Sweat wallops UP

Pocari Sweat bucked the absence of coach Tai Bundit to easily dispatch UP, 25-18, 25-14, 25-22, in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Open Conference Saturday in San Juan. 

Banking on a hot start, the Lady Warriors opened a new chapter in their franchise with aplomb.

Assistant coach Rommel Abella, who pinch hit for Bundit, said experience was a big key to their victory.

“Yung core namin isang taon nang magkakasama from our previous league and mga veterans pa,” he said. “So yung transition namin from one league to V-League is medyo naging smooth kahit paano.”

True enough, Michele Gumabao and Myla Pablo, key cogs of the former Philips Gold squad, led in scoring with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

With the Lady Maroons missing setter Jewel Lai, Pocari Sweat smelled blood from the get-go, building several double-digit spreads in the first set before finding resistance in the final frame.

“Actually nasabihan ko sila kanina kasi naging complacent kami from the start of the third set e. Sabi ko hindi basta basta kalaban yung UP. Fresh from the UAAP tapos maganda pa yung pinakita nila dun. So alam namin na talagang lalaban sila,” Abella rued.

“We just keep on reminding the girls kung ano yung dapat gawin. Then the usual, the basics, service, receive, yung mga combination attacks namin, niremind lang naman namin sila.”

Facing another collegiate team on Monday, Abella hopes that they could prepare well for NU, who beat an experienced team in Laoag on Saturday.

“We’ll work on our service receive on Monday. Hopefully, we can stop yung atake nung NU, especially Jaja (Santiago). We know naman how powerful her spikes are,” the mentor said. “So paghahandaan namin sila.” — By Joyce Palad