REIGNING Most Valuable Player Myla Pablo and Pocari Sweat-Air Force head coach Jasper Jimenez rued the slow start of their team in their games and they hope to address it as the Lady Warriors enter the crucial part of the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference.
Playing their sixth five-setter game in the tournament, where they only won three of it, the Lady Warriors needed to labor their way from a two-set deficit before edging Petro Gazz Angels, 17-25, 27-29, 25-16, 25-23, 15-13, to keep their semifinals hopes alive on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
That's thanks to Pablo, who provided the clutch hits in the fifth set and finished with 22 points.
“Siguro talaga naghahabol din kami ng win ngayon kasi nga hindi naman pwedeng dalawang beses kang natalo tapos same pa rin na matatalo, kailangang bumawi sa mga games mo,” said the two-time league MVP Pablo after finally ending a two-game skid to put a glimmer of hope on their dimming semifinals chances.
But she lamented on their poor start, which cost them most of their losses, as the Lady Warriors are now at 5-5 win-loss record at fifth place and need to win at least three of their last four games to at least force a playoff for a Final Four spot.
“Minsan kasi para kaming diesel. Ang tagal naming mag-init sa loob ng court and then kapag nakakakuha naman kami ng first set at second set parang nagre-relax na kami,” Pablo said. “Kailangang kapag naka-dalawang sets kailangan ang mindset mo hanggang matapos straight sets talaga.
No choice naman ako kung laging fifth set ang game namin. Kumbaga kapag fifth is puso nay an, utakan sa loob ng court.”
Jimenez agreed with the superstar of the team and putting premium on their killer instinct.
“Nawawala nga 'yung killer instinct namin. Minsan kailangan na lang namin manalo ng isang set, mawawala pa,” he said.
With their backs against the wall, Pablo hopes that the Lady Warriors would be full of eagerness in the last stretch of the eliminations for them to advance in the next round.
“Kailangang i-maintain namin ang mga natitirang games namin na four,” she said. “Kailangang i-ano namin sa sarili namin na kailangan nating manalo for the top four talaga. Paghihirapan talaga namin na makuha ang winning games namin.”
Pablo and Pocari Sweat-Air Force battle Creamline (7-2) on Sunday in Legazpi City, BanKo (7-2) on Wednesday next week back in San Juan City and against Iriga-Navy (3-9) and Adamson-Akari (0-9) on November 18 and 21, respectively.