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.
— denver del rosario | #SavePhilippineVolleyball (@dnvrDINOSAURio) September 8, 2019
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.