Air Force wakes up after sluggish start to stop NU Lady Bulldogs in four at the start of V-League semis
Veteran Judy Ann Caballejo gets the ball past National University's Jorelle Singh. Dante Peralta 

PHILIPPINE Air Force recovered from a sluggish start to beat National University, 14-25, 25-14, 25-12, 25-14, at the start of the quarterfinals of the Shakey's V-League Season 11 Open Conference on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.

Judy Ann Caballejo scored 16 points and Joy Cases added 13 for the Air Women, which evened its record to 3-3.

The six-team second stage is another round robin affair, with the records from the elimination round being carried over except for the results against also-rans University of the Philippines and Philippine
National Police.

Thus the Air Women entered the quarterfinals with just a 2-3 mark, their wins over UP and PNP nullified.

Air Force coach Clarence Esteban was so furious after the dismal performance that his post-game meeting with players took around much longer than usual.

“Sabi ko sa kanila, kailangan pa ba may magalit? Kailangan pa ba may masabing masakit o masama?" he said.

“Lagi kong sinasabi na dapat umpisa pa lang magtrabaho na tayo, ’di ba masarap sa pakiramdam 'yung nakapanalo ka ng unang set kasi puhunan mo na ’yun eh," he added.

Esteban noted that his players took NU lightly because they were able to stop the Lady Bulldogs in straight sets in the preliminaries.

“Nag-easy easy sila, nag-over confident porket natalo namin ang kalaban noong nakaraan, walang eagerness maglaro, nag-relax pati killer instinct nawala," said Esteban.
Good thing for the Air Force, veteran Liza de Ramos played steady in the fourth, the 33-year old middle blocker scoring eight points including five blocks and two service aces.

“Swerte na maganda ang laro niya, ’yung blocking naman talaga ang panlaban niya, pagpasok niya nagising niya ang mga teammates niya na mas bata sa kanya," said Esteban.

Jaja Santiago scored 15 points for NU, which now holds a 1-5 card.

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