Coach Abella on Pocari Sweat's Game 1 collapse: 'Nagrelax lang talaga sobra and nagkanya-kanya'
Rommel Abella was far from pleased in seeing Pocari Sweat lose grip of a winnable game against Air Force. Dante Peralta

POCARI Sweat coach Rommel Abella blasted his wards for handing Game One of their best-of three series for the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference crown to Air Force at the PhilSports Arena on Wednesday.

The Lady Warriors were way ahead in the fourth set and poised to win the match, but suddenly collapsed as the Jet Spikers snatched the victory, 17-25, 25-20, 15-25, 26-24, 15-11, behind Joy Cases, May Ann Pantino and Judy Ann Caballejo.

Abella rued that his players relaxed and lost their teamwork down the stretch, which caused them to lose grip of what should have been their victory.

“Nagrelax lang talaga sobra and I guess siguro nagkanya-kanya,” he said.

“Kasi hindi na kami naglaro as a team noong patapos na ang fourth set so sabi ko nga sa kanila kanina, this is a team event so bawat kilos namin ang iisipin namin dapat is ‘yung team kung makakaganda ba or hindi,” Abella added.

Abella also noted that his team was in the same position in their semifinal match against Bali Pure, where they lost the opener but recovered on the next matches to advance to the Finals.

But the veteran mentor reminded his wards not to be complacent in the next games if they intend to be the second rookie team to win the title in the 13-year old league, which was first done by powerhouse Philippine Army.

“Sabi ko nga sa kanila hindi pupwede (magrelax) kasi championship na. So sabi ko sa kanila, pag binibigay na sa atin, grab na natin. Eh hindi namin grinab ang opportunity ganito ang nangyari sa amin,” he said.

“’Yun ang sinasabi ko sa kanila, hindi na naman namin pinagaan ang trabaho namin,” added Abella. “Same situation kami, same predicament kami. And I guess, kanina nga niloloko ko sila sa dugout, ganoon talaga ang tadhana namin dadaan muna sa butas ng karayom bago manalo o gumalaw ng tama.”


Game Two is set on Saturday.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada