FINAL MISSION: Air Force out to claim first-ever title
Mark Escarlote on Jul 15, 2016 06:48 PM
Philippine Air Force goes for the kill against Pocari Sweat to end the championship series.
Philippine Air Force looks for the kill on Saturday when it meets Pocari Sweat in Game 2 of the 13th V-League Open Conference best-of-three championship series at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Toughened by numerous battles the veteran team had fought in the past, the Jet Spikers escaped with a thrilling five-set win in the series opener last Wednesday and are now in a good position to hand Air Force a double celebration after its men’s squad captured the Spikers’ Turf crown three days ago.
But first, the Jet Spikers need to work in the pivotal Game 2 joust set at 6:00 p.m. 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.
Battle for third series-leading BaliPure battles Laoag in the 4:00 p.m. curtain-raiser after the announcement of the individual award winners.
Down 1-2 in Game 1 and trailing the Lady Warriors, 14-20, in the fourth set, Air Force performed a miracle by forcing a decider and stealing the match 17-25, 25-20, 15-25, 24-26, 15-11 to move a step closer from hoisting its first-ever title in the league.
Head coach Jasper Jimenez wants his team to not let this opportunity slip away.
They don’t want to play a decider on Monday.
“Ganoon pa rin hindi kami puwedeng mag-relax and kailangang kunin na namin ito,” said Jimenez. “Kasi alam naman natin na babalik at babalik ang Pocari gaya noong ginawa nila noong semis.”
The Lady Warriors were in the same situation in the semifinals against BaliPure, losing the series opener before taking the next two games to advance in its first championship series in the Lady Warriors’ debut conference after transferring from the Philippine Superliga.
Air Force is wary of Pocari Sweat’s fighting spirit so expect May Ann Pantino, who had 17 points the last time out, Joy Cases, Jocemer Tapic, Judy Ann Caballejo and Best Setter winner Wendy Semana to bring their A-game on Saturday.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles