PETRO Gazz coach Arnold Laniog admitted focus was on two players as they prepared for the PVL Open Conference after a breakthrough title run in the Reinforced Conference.
But while Jonah Sabete and Jovielyn Prado have lived up to expectations in the all-Filipino tournament, Laniog stresses he expects full effort from the whole squad in the title showdown with Creamline.
“I really prepared these two players talaga for this Open conference,” said Laniog, who is looking to steer the team to a a second straight title after imports Wilma Salas and Janisa Johnson towed the squad to the Reinforced Conference crown.
“Alam namin 'yung mga beterano namin magpe-perform, but in times of production talaga, talagang kinausap namin 'tong dalawa na kailangan niyong pumukpok talaga pagdating sa puntos.”
Laniog attributed their run to the finals to the efforts of seasoned setter Chie Saet, veteran spiker Paneng Mercado, middle blockers Cherry Nunag and Jeanette Panaga as well as libero Cienne Cruz.
“Dapat talaga all the time, nakatututok tayo sa ginagawa. And sa collective effort talaga na each player must do their role inside the court,” he said.
The best-of-three finals begins on Wednesday and the Angels seek to make the most of the long break preparing for their biggest fight this tournament.
For Sabete and Prado, the Angels have done enough to silence doubters, but said they won’t be satisfied with simply reaching the finals.
“Gusto namin patunayan sa kanila na mali yung sinasabi nila na umasa lang kami sa imports noon kasi may tiwala kami sa bawat isa na kaya namin mag-finals talaga,” said Sabete.
Prado said she learned a lot from the imports even as she was utilized as a service specialist in the Reinforced Conference, stepped up as the Angels’ main spiker the Open.
“Madami din kaming natutunan sa kanila, sa mga imports namin, nagamit po namin ngayon,” Prado said.
“Mas looking forward kami na mas maimprove pa kung ano yung pwede namin matututunan.”