Na-excite lang ako maglaro -- Pablo on dropping 28 points on return
Mark Escarlote on May 28, 2017 08:27 AM
Sa last two games namin naisip ko lang na ‘hala gusto kong maglaro’. Gusto kong tulungan ang team ko kaso wala akong magawa kasi nandoon lang ako sa tabi -- Myla Pablo of Pocari Sweat
Pocari Sweat top hitter Myla Pablo returned with a bang Saturday.
The former National University standout came up 12 points short of the Premier Volleyball League scoring record set by her Lady Warriors teammate American Michelle Strizak in the Reinforced Conference two nights back.
Not bad for a player who four games ago had to be rushed to Cardinal Santos Medical Center after aggravating a lingering back injury.
Pablo rallied Pocari Sweat from a set down to a pulsating 21-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-14, 15-10, win in the round robin quarterfinals opener at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, pouring a barrage of attacks in the deciding frame to end the Lady Warriors’ two-game losing skid – all with her missing in action.
The Camiling, Tarlac native pounded the Jet Spikers with 25 kills on her way to a 28-point outing.
“Na-excite lang ako maglaro kasi ‘yun nga first game ko ulit na maglaro after ng ma-injury ako,” said Pablo, who averaged 13.8 points in the preliminary round before going down with a back injury in the second set of the Lady Warriors’ five-set win over BaliPure last May 18. “’Yun nga di ko na lang iniisip ‘yung injury ko basta maglaro lang ako para sa team ko.”
Pablo’s return eased the scoring burden of Strizak, who established a league-high 40 points last Thursday in Pocari Sweat’s five-set loss at the hands of Air Force as the lone import of the Lady Warriors’ after Bosnian import Edina Selimovic was ruled out for the season because of a right hamstring tear. That loss forced the Lady Warriors to take the long route for a best-of-three semifinals berth.
With their chance of making Final Four cut in peril, Pablo insisted to suit up just before the game started.
“Ang unang nagsabi si coach John (Rommel Abella) na, ‘Myla kaya mo na ba maglaro?’ Ang sabi ko, ‘Kaya ko po. Kapag hindi ko kaya sasabihin ko naman sa inyo,’” Pablo said. “OK naman ang kondisyon ko. Hindi naman sumakit ang back ko. Siguro nanibago lang talaga ako kasi nga two weeks akong nawala, nakapahinga.”
Pablo was actually in uniform last Thursday but the coaching staff decided to give her a little more time to recuperate.
“Sa last two games namin naisip ko lang na ‘hala gusto kong maglaro’. Gusto kong tulungan ang team ko kaso wala akong magawa kasi nandoon lang ako sa tabi,” she said. “Parang gusto kong sabihin na ‘Coach kaya ko.’ Parang three games akong may iniinda na parang gusto ko na talagang pumasok kasi two games kaming talo.”
Abella was hesitant at first to gamble with Pablo.
“Actually we had plans of not using nga siya sana eh. Kaya lang we’re forced to kasi we needed a great start kasi quarterfinals gusto talaga namin manalo,” he said. “We’re forced na palaruin siya talaga.”
“Last game puwede naman na siya, according to her puwede na siya and tinanong ko ang PT namin she said that Myla looks good wala lang sa kundisyon because of the long layoff but ‘yung likod niya good naman na sana lang ‘wag sumpungin ulit,” he added.
Pablo and Creamline will face Creamlien Tuesday and Perlas on Thursday. BaliPure and the Power Smashers are already in the semifinals after closing the prelims at the top two spots.
“Hindi namin agad iniisip ang semis kasi may two games pa kaming grabe. Kita mo naman makakalaban namin, Diyos ko, pukpukan na naman ito,” said Pablo. “’Yun lang ang gagawin namin siguro teamwork lang talaga.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles