On its third try, Pocari Sweat finally lived up to its billing as the team to beat in the 2017 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
Riding the all-around brilliance of Myla Pablo, the Lady Warriors were able to make quick work of Philippine Air Force in straight sets, 25-22, 25-14, 25-22, on Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Pablo tallied 18 kills, three aces, and two blocks for a grand total of 23 points. She was on-point from the get-go and led her squad in seizing and then never relinquishing control.
Again and again, the Jet Spikers kept coming only to be turned back by Pablo and company. “Good thing talaga na nag-perform na yung leaders namin this game,” coach Rommel Abella said.
Elaine Kasilag also contributed 11 points and Pocari Sweat flexed its muscle in terms of avoiding errors with only 14 compared to the 25 of its opponents.
The emphatic win was just what Abella was looking for from his girls who now improved to 1-2. “Sabi ko nga sa kanila, kailangan muna natin ng isang panalo then we’ll go from there. Hopefully, eto na yung turnaround,” he said.
With Pablo leading the charge and Kasilag and Jeannette Panaga backstopping her, the Lady Warriors were regarded as one of the top title contenders – if not the favorite – in the tournament.
They stumbled right out of the gates, however, and got blanked by the Power Smashers and then by BaliPure. “Deflating talaga yung nangyari sa amin, but I never lost confidence sa team namin. At least, nagka-sense of urgency kami because we did not want to go down 0-3,” Abella expressed.
On the other hand, PAF suffered its second straight setback despite the best efforts of Jocemer Tapic who had 11 points.
This article originally appeared on the ABS-CBN Sports website.
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