AIR Force edged Laoag, 25-14, 25-20, 19-25, 21-25, 15-10, on Saturday to reach the finals of the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The Jet Spikers will face the winner of the semifinal series between Bali Pure and Pocari Sweat.
Judy Ann Caballejo scored 23 points on 19 hits, one block and three service aces as the Jet Spikers booked their first-ever finals appearance in the league.
“Syempre masaya kasi lahat naman ng team ‘yun ang hinahangad na makapasok sa Finals so mas pagbubutihan pa namin. Mas maraming brain storming, team work pa,” said Air Force coach Jasper Jimenez.
“Pinataas na lang ang morale ng team ayaw siguro magpatalo ng mga bata,” said Jimenez.
“Talagang malaking bagay ang experience na ’yun. Siguro ang service namin inimprove sa fifth set at saka kinapitan ng mga veterans kait nakuhaan kami ng dalawang sets nag-step up sila,” he added.
The Jet Spikers trailed, 8-13, in the fourth set before taking the lead, 16-15, on errors by the Power Smashers. But fought back to grab a 23-19 lead and extended the match.
“Siguro masyadong nagkaroon ng confidence kaya hindi nagtuluy-tuloy ’yung panalo,” said Jimenez. “At saka ’yung game plan nila Laoag is nakita ’yung position namin sa likod … mahina kami sa receive sa posisyon na ’yun … buti na lang nakabawi kami ng fifth set.”
May Ann Pantino scored 17 points, while Jocemer Tapic chipped in 10 for Air Force, which had 10 service aces.
Jessica Galanza had 20 points, Mylene Paat scored 14 and Jovielyn Prado added 13 for the Power Smashers.