BANKO Perlas coach Dong dela Cruz rued about their missed opportunity to be in the finals of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference after losing to Ateneo-Motolite in the best-of-three semifinals.
The Perlas Spikers bowed to the Lady Eagles, 25-21, 25-23, 17-25, 25-27, 19-21, in Game Three of the best-of-three semifinals on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
Dela Cruz, who aired his frustration, had to swallow a bitter pill.
“Very disappointing,” he said. “Nag-eexpect kami na pumasok sa Finals.”
BanKo Perlas blew its chance when it squandered a 2-0 lead in sets and six match points as Ateneo-Motolite escaped with the win.
It even erased a five-point deficit, 6-11, in the fifth set as it moved on the verge of match point, 14-11.
The Perlas Spikers even gave the Lady Eagles 31 points courtesy of their errors in the match that too two hours and 33 minutes to finish.
The veteran mentor shared that no one even dared to speak during the post-game huddle.
“Wala ngang nagsasalita eh, normal na 'yun,” said dela Cruz. “’Yung tournament na ‘to, one point na lang papasok na kami sa Finals.”
“Kasama sa laro 'yung bad calls eh,” he added. “Wala kaming magagawa sa judgement calls, wala din namang challenge. Sabi ko sa players na hayaan niyo ako mag-reklamo.”
To add to the Perlas Spikers regrets, they were already a step closer to the finals when they took Game One, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 19-25, 15-6, before the Lady Eagles evened the series via a straight-set victory in Game Two, 25-21, 25-20, 26-24, on Saturday.
BanKo was relegated to face Petro Gazz in the best-of-three battle for third.
“Pero 'yun nga, nandiyan na 'yan. 'Yung third place na lang ang pagtuunan namin ng pansin,” he said.
“Sana maglaro pa rin sila nang mabuti, professional naman 'yung players ko, kumbaga talo na kami. Focus na kami sa third place,” he added.