Lady Warriors turn back Lady Maroons in Open Conference debut
Mark Escarlote on Jul 02, 2017 06:23 PM
Jeanette Panaga and Cai Nepomuceno of Pocari Sweat shut the door on University of the Philippines Diana Carlos.
Pocari Sweat needed a full set to shake off its rust after a two-week vacation since the Lady Warriors’ last title conquest.
A young and aggressive University of the Philippines side gave the Lady Warriors fits in the opening set but Pocari Sweat regrouped just in time to avoid a major upset and escaped with a 21-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-21 win Sunday in their debut outing in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Lady Warriors, who are fresh from annexing the Reinforced Conference title a few weeks back, joined other early winners Creamline and Philippine Air Force.
UP jumped the gun to open the match and shocked Pocari Sweat, which was obviously still on a high after bagging its third straight title since sweeping the V-League Open and Reinforced conferences last year.
But behind the combined efforts of veterans Myla Pablo, Elaine Kasilag, Cai Nepomuceno and the solid floor defense of seasoned libero Mel Gohing, the Lady Warriors were able to reward new head coach Rico De Guzman the win.
“Nahirapan kami sa UP. Unang-una ang opensa nila hindi pa namin ma-block, mabilis sila and ang service nila ubod ng karga so ang mga players ko hindi ma-recieve ng maayos (ang bola),” De Guzman admitted.
Reinforced Conference Finals Most Valuable Player Pablo finshed with 18 points, 16 coming off attacks, she spiked with a great defensive effort of 13 digs and seven excellent receptions for the Lady Warriors.
Kasilag scored 15 while Nepomuceno finished with 10. Jeanette Panaga added eight markers she hghlighted with three kill blocks in three sets of action for Pocari Sweat, who clogged the net with solid defense that the Lady Warriors converted to 10 kill blocks.
Playmaker Gyzelle Sy tallied 39 excellent sets while Gohing manned the floor like her life depended on it with 26 digs and 13 excellent receptions.
Diana Carlos led the Lady Maroons with 21 points, all but one coming off spikes, while Isa Molde got 13 markers. Justine Dorog finished with nine points while Jessma Ramos and Marist Layug combined for 14 points for the State U squad.
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