All-Filipino Air Force stuns American-backed Pocari Sweat
Mark Escarlote on Oct 05, 2016 07:18 PM
Philippine Air Force escaped with a five-set win over Pocari Sweat in a rematch of their Open Conference finals series.
Philippine Air Force waited for this for almost three months.
The all-Filipino Lady Jet Spikers needed to comeback from two points down in the closing stretch of the fifth set to exact vengeance on rival Pocari Sweat, 25-20, 22-25, 25-7, 22-25, 15-12, Wednesday to barge in the win column of the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
It was a sweet win for Air Force, not only did the Lady Jet Spikers bounced back from a four-set opening day loss to University of Sto. Tomas last Saturday but the women in uniform were able to get their revenge against their American-backed nemesis Lady Warriors, who denied them the Open Conference crown a couple of months back.
“Lahat naman nagtrabaho although hindi nga lang dire-diretso at least nandoon ‘yung intensity nila para manalo,” said Air Force coach Jasper Jimenez.
The mentor added that the team was motivated to get the win against the Lady Warriors backed by Andrea Kacsits and Bre Mackie.
“Malaking challenge talaga sa amin ‘yun kasi wala kaming import. Talagang doble-kayod kami,” he said.
May Ann Pantino and Neneng Tapic scored 17 markers each for the Lady Jet Spikers, who outgunned Pocari Sweat, 54-45, in attacks. Pantino had 15 spikes and contributed on the defensive end with 11 excellent receptions.
Judy Ann Caballlejo scored 14 points, making a living on the service line with seven of the Air Force’s total of 15 aces, while putting up 10 digs. Joy Cases, who powered the Lady Jet Spikers in the fifth set, had 13 markers.
Air Force showed their veteran poise in the fifth set despite trailing, 9-11.
Veteran playmaker Wendy Semana tied the set at 11 before Cases gave the lead back to the Jet Spikers since squandering a 6-2 advantage early in the frame. Mackie committed back-to-back errors that put Air Force at match point, 14-11.
Pocari Sweat saved a match point but Kacsits served short.
"Nadoon din ang eagerness ng kabila na manalo pero padating ng final set kung sinong bumitaw talo eh kumapit kami. Muntik na nga (matalo) eh," said Jimenez
Mackie top scored for the Lady Warriors with 17 points while Kacsits and skipper Michele Gumabao finished with 11 each. Open Conference Myla Pablo had a quiet night with only nine points.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles