The new-look Cocolife Asset Managers started slow, but eventually found their groove to dispel the young Cherrylume-University of the East Lady Warriors, 22-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-18, to start their 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Invitational Cup campaign at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Having lost several players from their Grand Prix lineup, Cocolife started several new faces; a period which head coach Moro Branislav described as a “new life”.
“We have new players coming in since. This is a totally new life for Cocolife. When it’s a new team, there are some confusion like for my team in the first set,” said Branislav.
Noting that his team had only been fully assembled about last week, Branislav anticipated their slow first set, in which they fell behind early and failed to recover.
After a convincing win in the second set, the Asset Managers nearly succumbed to a deflating run in the third set. Ahead 23-15, Cocolife surrendered the next seven points as they struggled to control Judith Abil’s serve. Cocolife, however, claimed the next two points thanks to key additions Gyra Barrago and Justine Tiu.
Barroga and Tiu again sparked the Asset Managers in the fourth set, slamming in hits that gave their team an insurmountable 11-3 advantage.
“We need time to keep jelling and getting better as a team. The more experience we gain, the better my team will play,” added Branislav.
Barroga topped all scorers with 17 points while Alex Tan added 15. Cocolife were without starting libero Denden Lazaro, who was attending to family matters.
Judith Abil led the Lady Warriors with 12 markers, while Mary Anne Mendrez managed 11.
Cocolife (1-0) face the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors (0-0) on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. UE (0-1) face the Cignal HD Spikers (0-0) tomorrow at the same venue.
Cocolife (3) – Barroga 17, Tan 15, Tiu 9, Tejada 6, Bangad 4, Fabay 4, Alkuino 2, Tongco 2, Esperanza 1, Patnongon 1, Pena 1, Yongco 1, Dusaran (L)
Cherrylume-UE (1) – Abil 12, Mendrez 11, Gabarda 5, Catindig 4, Lopez 3, Sta. Maria 3, Olarve 2, Alcayde 1, Santos 1, Clavano 0, Babol (L), Pastorfide (L)