by Nica Hanopol
The Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference is nothing but a hard season for the Pocari-Air Force team.
After missing the first two seeds at the end of the eliminations, the Lady Warriors needed an extra push in the quarterfinals in order to make yet again a semifinals appearance in the league.
Head coach Jasper Jimenez described their season as ‘dumaan kami sa butas ng karayom’ since they had to push themselves to the limit to reach this stage.
And now at the semifinals, the Pocari-Air Force team made quick work of the Alyssa-Valdez led team Creamline and drew first blood to inch a little closer for another crown.
The blue-and-white squad surprised the Cool Smashers with attacks coming from all sides of the court and a rock-solid net and floor defense.
Jimenez shared that Creamline’s hiatus could be a factor in the latter’s poor first game performance.
“‘Yung advantage namin ay halos dire-diretso yung game namin. Sila, halos two weeks ang pahinga. Kami dumaan sa butas ng karayom,” head coach Jimenez said.
“Hindi rin kasi sanay ang Creamline na natatalo ng first set. Siguro maganda na nakauna kami,” he added.
Meanwhile, skipper Myla Pablo said she needed to step up for the team bigtime for their hard work both in training and in games to bear fruit.
“Ako yung inaasahan ni Coach sa loob, bilang team captain, kailangan maging vocal. Kailangan mag-step up din kami,” said Pablo, who contributed nine points.
But for the former National University stalwart, the semifinal round is far from over as Creamline will surely rare to make a comeback.
“Alam naman namin na babawi talaga yung Creamline sa’min. So kung anong ginawa namin ngayon, sana magawa rin namin sa next game,” Pablo said.
Both teams will collide on Wednesday for the second game of the best-of-three semifinals.