FOTON coach Vilet Ponce de Leon remained optimistic after the Tornadoes bowed to F2 Logistics, 20-25, 14-25, 25-9, 25-20, 10-25, in Game One of the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference Finals at The Arena in San Juan on Thursday night.
The Tornadoes had a flat start before they gained momentum and dominated the third set to force a decider, but ran out of steam as the Cargo Movers steadied down the stretch.
But Ponce de Leon is confident of their chances of tying the series on Saturday and force a winner-take-all Game Three.
“Buhay pa kami, ‘yun ang iniisip namin,” she said. “And we will take this one game at a time, one set at a time, one point at at time."
“Kasi hindi kami pwedeng magmadali, so we’re given the opportunity, we’re given the time, gagamitin namin ‘yun (wisely),” she added.
Ponce de Leon was also the first to encourage her wards to keep their heads high despite falling short in Game One.
“Well alam na nila ‘yun, we (coaches) are not really disappointed,” she said. “Pagpasok pa lang (sa dugout), ‘yung team owner namin nagsabi na they really are very proud of how the girls have performed in this game, nabo-boost naman ang morale nila.”
Foton will waste no time and will go back to the gym on Friday to try to resolve their problems as they gave away 39 points to F2 Logistics on errors.
Ponce de Leon also wants her wards to work on their reception to make sure that F2 Logistics won’t feast on their first ball attacks.
“We have to go back nga sa training tomorrow to repair (our weakness),” she said. “First ball talaga, balik ‘yan. Sabi ko nga sa kanila parati, we have to master the first ball or sa dig, how you’re going to keep the ball alive.”
“I’ve been telling them, time and again, offense can make the point but only defense can win the game,” she added.