POCARI Sweat showed poise and grace in pulling off a masterful 25-22, 25-18, 25-18 win over Bureau of Customs in Game One of the-best of three Finals series of the Shakey's V-League Reinforced Conference on Saturday inside a jam-packed PhilSports Arena.
The Lady Warriors moved a win away from bagging the another title in its V-League debut season as American import Bre Mackie and skipper Michele Gumabao led the way for the Open Conference champions, who effortlessly came back each time they trailed in the match.
“We expected to win but not in three sets because alam naman naming lalaban at lalaban 'yung Customs,” said Pocari Sweat coach Rommel Abella.
“Kasi doon sa mga preparations namin this past few days, 'yung fire namin makikita mo sa mga players kaya 'yung win I expected it kaya nga lang siguro four sets maybe. But we'll take it straight sets,” he added.
The Lady Warriors had a total team effort with Mackie and Gumabao firing 13 points apiece, while libero Mel Gohing led the impressive defense in not allowing any ball to land on her watch and registered 11 digs, while Andrea Kacsits and Desiree Dadang imposed solid blocking at the net with a combined eight blocks.
Pocari Sweat killed BoC with its net defense with 15 blocks compared to just five of the Transformers.
“Ang primary defense namin is block, doon talaga kami nagrerely considering na medyo malalaki din naman 'yung players natin. So ang focus talaga namin blocking,” said Abella.
“And 'yung floor defense namin, it's just gonna react kung paano 'yung takbo ng blocks namin. So good thing nag-work pareho kanina. 'Yun nga lang, medyo may mga lapses but we still got the win,” he added.
Down by three, 6-9, Pocari Sweat calmly got back up and answered with six consecutive points to grab the lead, 12-9, in the third set.
BoC threatened, 13-16, but Pocari Sweat romped to a 23-17 lead and went on to take the match.
Alyssa Valdez was the lone player from BoC to finish in double digits with 12 points, while Thai import Kanjana Kuthaisong added eight.
The Transformers also gave away 26 points courtesy of their errors.
Game Two is on Monday.