PETRON coach George Pascua rued his words fell on deaf ears as the Blaze Spikers lose to Foton Tornadoes, 25-14, 21-25, 19-25, 22-25, in Game One of the Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix finals at the Astrodome on Thursday.
The reigning champions came out like a house on fire after taking the opening set, only to lose momentum afterwards that allowed the Tornadoes to take the win and a 1-0 lead in the short best-of-three series.
“Ang instructions ko sa kanila, kasi almost perfect ‘yung first set eh, ang sabi ko sa kanila i-maintain niyo ang composure niyo, i-maintain niyo lang ang intensity niyo,” he said.
“Ewan ko kung pagkasabi kong ganoon inabsorb ba nila o dahil sa sobrang gigil manalo kaya masyadong tense.”
Gunning for a third straight title, the Blaze Spikers are heavily favored to trounce the Tornadoes owing to their powerhouse cast and championship experience.
Petron is bannered by local stars Aby Marano, Rachel Anne Daquis, and Dindin Santiago Manabat, and reinforced by a pair of Brazilians in Erica Adachi and Rupia Inck.
But not even a formidable roster is a guarantee the Blaze Spikers can execute a perfect game.
“Sa kagustuhan naming ma-perfect ‘yung laro (nanggigil kami),” Pascua said. “Eh hindi namin ma-perfect ‘yung passing, ‘yung service, kaya minsan the more na nagkakamali. Kasi the more na sinasabi mong perfect, the more na hindi mo mape-perfect kasi walang perfect.”
The Petron mentor also pointed out the team dwelled too much on its mistakes during the game and never recovered, while Foton regrouped and just enjoyed playing the match.
“’Yung Foton inenjoy nila ‘yung laro. Nothing to lose kaya na-lessen nila ‘yung mga errors nila,” he said.