JOVELYN Gonzaga admits that the lack of presence of Rachel Anne Daquis left a huge void for Cignal as its comeback fell short in Game One of the best-of-three Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference Finals.
Daquis only played in the first two sets and in the last part of the fifth frame limited with five points from averaging 21.5 markers in the semifinals as she was struggling with a sore leg muscle.
Even without Daquis, Gonzaga and Alohi Robins-Hardy still led a balanced attack to erase a two-set deficit and forced a fifth set.
But they failed to complete their third straight five-setter match, this time, missing their team captain’s leadership inside the court and scoring prowess.
“Parang nung nawala si ate Rachel sinasabihan ko siya ‘Te balik ka kailangan kita.’ and andun yung feeling sa loob ng court na kulang,” said Gonzaga, who had 12 points and 33 digs.
“Kulang ako kasi syempre sanay ako na andyan sya sa loob though nag step up namin si Janine (Navarro) at (Mylene) Paat credit to them,” she added.
But it shouldn’t be an excuse as the HD Spikers also committed a lot of lapses in the deciding set.
Gonzaga believes that her bestfriend and longtime teammate, Daquis will come back stronger and carry the team in a do-or-die situation in Game Two on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Alam ko namang babawi’t babawi si ate Rachel,” she stressed.
Expect the rest of the HD Spikers, also bannered by Mylene Paat, Janine Navarro, Ranya Musa, Roselyn Doria and Jheck Dionela, to come out in high spirits in a do-or-die situation.
“Sa ginagalaw ng team lalo na nung third at fourth, confident ako na makukuha namin (ang Game Two) kasi nangyari sa fifth set lapses namin lahat yun nawalan kami ng receive pati communication,” said Gonzaga.
“Binigay din namin best namin and magandang outcome though nabitin kami hanggang sa dulo pero proud kami sa isa’t isa at positive pa rin yung side ng team na lumaban hanggang dulo,” she added.