EXCEPT for a momentary slip in the second set, Philippine Air Force was never in any real danger, routing Philippine National Police, 25-22, 25-23, 25-8 , on Tuesday in the Shakey's V-League Season 11 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
Judy Ann Caballejo delivered 12 points off the bench, Maika Ortiz and Iari Yongco added 10 each, and Joy Cases added eight to help the Air Women begin the tournament with a win.
Air Force fell behind, 6-12, in the second set, but that was when coach Clarence Esteban tried other player combinations including Wendy Semana and Jen Manzano. The Air Women easily regained control with a 12-4 rally that made it 18-16 and they never trailed again.
“Gusto ko kasi gamitin ’yung bench players ko, mag-experiment kung sino ang magki-click sa loob ng court,” said Esteban.
“Kaya naging crucial ang second set kasi nawalan kami ng receive," he added.
Air Force did not have any match play in two weeks after opting to skip the Cagayan Friendship Games in Tuguegarao, so Esteban grabbed the opportunity to field his reserve players when it became evident they can handle the PNP side.
“Malaking factor din kasi na natigil ang laro ng mga bata,” he said. “Ilang araw kami na walang laro, ’di kasi kami sumali sa Cagayan. Puro training lang kami.”
Air Force joined Ateneo, National University and Philippine Army in the early lead.
Former San Beda standout Frances Molina had 17 points, while Christine Maderazo chipped in 10 for the Lady Patrollers, who are tied with University of the Philippines with a 0-2 record.