After four losses, the Gamboa Coffee Spikers finally picked up its breakthrough win in the Premier Volleyball League, sending the Cafe Lupe Sunrisers into darkness in a four-set win, 25-21, 25-22, 18-25, 27-25, Sunday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“Ang tagal pero sobrang saya na nakuha na namin ang first win namin dito sa Open Conference,” expressed Gamboa Coffee head coach Mario Mia. “For one week, after ng huling talo namin, grabe ang heart to heart talk ang ginawa namin. Nilabas namin ang lahat ng nagiging problema namin at buti naman, naging maganda yung result.”
Having one week to prepare for the contest, Mia worked on the mental toughness of the Coffee Spikers all throughout in preparation for the contest.
“Literally, pinarusahan namin sila. Early morning, pina-jog namin sila from Mapua to Lyceum na kailangan within 30 minutes magawa nila ng 10 rounds yun,” said Mia as the core of the Coffee Spikers are from the Mapua Cardinals. “We had to work on their mental toughness. Mahirap pero posible at nakita ko na gusto talaga nilang tapusin.”
Alfredo Pagulong led Gamboa Coffee with 13 points, 12 coming of attacks and an ace. Angelino Pertierra and Mark Egan added 12 and 11 points respectively.
But the win did not come easy as Cafe Lupe stormed back from two sets down to take the third set. Moreover, the Sunrisers rallied back from a 15-19 deficit and tying the game at 24-all.
“Nung timeout, kinausap ko muna si Raven [Evangelista – setter]. Sabi ko sa kanya, tumingin muna sa kabilang side. Hindi puwedeng gawa lang siya ng gawa ng play, tignan muna niya kung nasaan yung advantage niya,” Mia recalled telling Evangelista, who dished out 29 excellent sets.
Evangelista responded by tossing a perfect set to Egan to give Gamboa Coffee the advantage. John Millete though answered back with a kill of a combination play to once again extend the contest.
However, Gamboa Coffee was not to be denied as a service error by Millete was followed by an emphatic kill by skipper Sam Damian to give the franchise its breakthrough win in the sport of volleyball.
Damian finished with nine points to go along with 17 receptions.
Cafe Lupe had 39 errors in the contest compared to 35 for Gamboa Coffee. In addition, the Coffee Spikers had a total of 49 spikes to help negate the overwhelming 17 blocks of the Sunrisers.
Gamboa Coffee, even with a 1-4 slate, looks to make the most out of their last two tilts starting on Wednesday, July 26 against the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls at 10:00am.
“Yung pinaka goal namin talaga dito is to gain experience for the NCAA. We will try to win the last few games pero kung hindi kaya, gusto lang namin ipakita kung ano kaya ng team namin,” Mia shared.
Millete paced Cafe Lupe with 18 markers while Paolo Lim added 11 markers.
Cafe Lupe, on the other hand, hopes that it can upset the Philippine Army Troopers on the same day at 1:00pm.
Gamboa Coffee (3) – Pagulong 13, Pertierra 12, Egan 11, Damian 9, Navera 4, Santos 2, Andaya 1, Bagalay 1, Hizon 1, Martinez 0, Canlas (L).
Cafe Lupe (1) – Millete 18, Lim 11, Castillo 10, Sioson 5, Magdaong 4, Ocampo 4, Adorador 3, San Pascual 1, Baldelovar 0, Ebrahim 0, Sebastian 0, Magadan (L).