Michele Gumabao urges Pocari locals to step up as V-League title bid starts on wrong foot
Michele Gumabao is the only local player averaging in double digit scoring for Pocari Sweat with 12.5 points per game. Dante Peralta

POCARI Sweat skipper Michele Gumabao urged the Lady Warriors to rediscover their championship-winning form after a shaky start to their Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference campaign.

The Lady Warriors, who ruled the Open Conference three months ago, have found themselves struggling despite tapping two American imports Bre Mackie and Andrea Kacsits while retaining the hard-hitting core of Gumabao, Myla Pablo and Elaine Kasilag.

For the former La Salle team captain, the burden to step up lies on her and the rest of the local crew.

“Siguro nasanay lang kami na kapag may imports, nakaasa kami,” said Gumabao, who averaged 12.5 points per game and the lone local player to average in double figures.

“So ngayon feeling ko hindi namin dapat gawin ‘yun kasi malakas naman ‘yung core namin, ‘yung locals. So each and every one dapat mag-step up para hindi rin sila (imports) ma-pressure sa galaw nila.

“Kasi being here, napi-pressure din sila and kailangan nilang mag-step up. Maraming comments silang nababasa sa Twitter, sa internet. Just to lighten up their load, kailangan naming gawin ang trabaho namin,” she added.

Pocari Sweat now holds an even 1-1 card after losing to an all-Filipino Philippine Air Force in five sets and winning over Philippine Coast Guard, 25-17, 25-9, 25-16, on Monday at the PhilSports Arena.

But Pocari Sweat started out flat, 0-6, in the opening set against a winless PCG squad before the Lady Warriors clawed back and went on to win the match.

“Ako naman siguro, more on kailangan lang siguro namin ng matinding focus at wake-up call para gumalaw kami,” said Gumabao. “It’s not a good characteristic to have pero at least natatapos namin ang naumpisahan namin, so hinabol namin and nagawa naming manalo still in three sets.”

“Hindi ko naman masasabi na this wasn’t the win (that we wanted) because at the end of the day basta panalo, masaya naman kami and nagawa namin ang dapat naming gawin. Ang ipinunta namin dito na-achieve namin,” she added. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada