PVL: Dela Cruz hopes BanKo moves on after tough loss
Mark Escarlote on Dec 02, 2018 09:14 PM
Yung tournament na to, one point na lang papasok na kami sa Finals. Pero 'yun nga, nandiyan na 'yan. 'Yung third place na lang ang pagtuunan namin ng pansin -- BanKo coach Dong Dela Cruz
Just a solitary point and BanKo would’ve made a breakthrough Finals stint in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference.
The Perlas Spikers came near their goal in the fourth set. Then again, six more times in the fifth.
But the elusive winning point never came.
“Very disappointing. Nagi-expect kami na pumasok sa Finals,” said BanKo coach Dong dela Cruz after his veteran-laden squad bowed down to a collegiate team, 25-21, 25-23, 17-25, 25-27, 19-21, Sunday in the decider of the best-of-three Final Four series at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
For the fourth straight conference, the Perlas Spikers came up short of making it into the championship round. And just like in the Reinforced Conference, BanKo will settle to compete for the consolation third place against PetroGazz.
“'Yung tournament na to, one point na lang papasok na kami sa Finals. Pero 'yun nga, nandiyan na 'yan. 'Yung third place na lang ang pagtuunan namin ng pansin,” said Dela Cruz.
BanKo actually took the series opener for their third straight win over the Lady Eagles in the season-ending conference but were swept by Ateneo-Motolite in Game 2.
After yielding the third set, BanKo was given the chance to seal the series in the fourth after making a telling run to move at match point, 25-24, but a costly service error by Kathy Bersola followed by a Maddie Madayag ace and a Nicole Tiamzon attack error forced a decider.
The Perlas Spikers rallied from a 6-11 deficit in the fifth frame to take a 14-11 lead but allowed Ateneo-Motolite to save three straight match points and another three more in the closing stretch before BanKo setter Fhen Emnas committed a setting miscue that doomed their campaign as Lady Eagle Ponggay Gaston hammered the finishing blow.
“Sana maglaro pa rin sila nang mabuti,” Dela Cruz said of his wards. “Professional naman 'yung players ko, kumbaga talo na kami. Focus na kami sa third place.”
Just like in Game 2, Dela Cruz pointed at their errors – 31 in total – as the culprit while adding that Ateneo-Motolite killed them with solid net defense that the Lady Eagles converted to 18 kill blocks.
“'Yung error ulet namin, ang dami. Mahirap manalo kapag ganoon. Noong fifth set, error ulet ang tumalo sa amin,” he said. “I give it to Ateneo talaga, ang ganda noong blocking nila.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles