SMART defeated Cocolife, 25-21, 26-24, 23-25, 25-18, to keep its chances for an outright semis berth in the Philippine Super Liga Invitational Conference on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Veterans Ging Balse and Nene Bautista finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively, as they took charge for the Giga Hitters, who improved to the No. 2 spot with a 2-1 win-loss record, behind unbeaten Cignal (3-0) in Pool B.
But Smart coach Kungfu Reyes does not want to think too far ahead, instead setting his focus on their next match against University of the East Cherrylume.
“Wala na sa kamay namin na kami ang magco-control na semis ba tayo o papasok tayo sa quarters. Pero ngayon ang importante sa amin ngayon ‘yung Cherrylume,” he said.
“Hindi pa naman tapos ‘yung laban kahit naman nasa taas ka hindi ka naman pwedeng magpaka sigurado,” he added.
Reyes also rued about his team’s lack of killer instinct especially when his wards committed a lot of unforced errors down the stretch.
“Pagdating sa dulo hindi na nakuha sa ngiti eh, we tried to be happy inside the game pero somehow hindi nacocompensate ng ngiti ang bawat error ‘yung mga naibibigay namin,” he said.
“Hindi pa ito ang game na gusto natin mangyari, medyo nakakafrustrate pa sa labas na nakikita mo ang mga players mo na nagkakamali,” he added.
Patria Jela Pena made 11 points for Cocolife, while Justine Tiu chipped in nine markers.