NU, Pocari Sweat dispute solo lead
Mark Escarlote on Jun 01, 2016 08:01 AM
National University and Pocari Sweat clash for a taste of the solo lead.
Opening day winners National University and Pocari Sweat clash on Wednesday for a chance to hold the early solo lead in the 13th V-League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Warriors take center court at 6:00 p.m. in a thrilling match of two title contenders that will air live over ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23, ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and via livestream on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/vleague.
Banking on its experience and team chemistry, newcomer Pocari Sweat breezed past University of the Philippines, 25-18, 25-14, 25-22, last Saturday for a statement win.
Seasoned former De La Salle star Michele Gumabao finished with 13 points while former NU hitter Myla Pablo and Elaine Kasilag had 11 and 10 markers, respectively, to lead the Lady Warriors’ to an easy win over the Lady Maroons.
Against another collegiate team, Pocari Sweat assistant coach Rommel Abella pointed out that need to improve on their receives and strengthen their defense in front of the net.
“We’ll work on our service receive and hopefully we’ll find a way to stop 'yung atake nila especially Jaja (Santiago),” he said. “Kasi you know naman malakas ‘yung mga hitters nila. Paghahandaan namin sila but more on our part, actually, ‘yung service receive namin ‘yung ang pino-point out namin sa kanila.”
NU showed a lot of character despite playing with a young crew last Saturday to down the veteran-laden Laoag Power Smashers, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21.
Three Lady Bulldogs finished in double figures with Santiago eking out a game-high 21 points, Filipino Japanese Risa Sato debuted with 12 markers while Jasmin Nabor became a big revelation as the converted setter dished out 31 excellent sets on top of her 10 points.
Taking on a veteran powerhouse team, NU head coach Roger Gorayeb said that he is banking on his squad’s renewed passion for the game and a more positive attitude.
“Siyempre they will always rely (Pocari Sweat) on experience kami naman parang mga inosente, parang nagsisimula kami ulit,” said Gorayeb. “Malaki ang pagbabago ng laro naming kumpara doon sa UAAP, sana magtulu’y tuloy na ‘yan.”
The two teams are tied with Philippine Air Force on top of the standings.
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