The Philippine Air Force Jet Spikers were on the verge of sweeping the Perlas Lady Spikers, but their opponents were able to rally back to extend the contest.
“Di ko rin alam eh. Siguro naging ganun lang talaga yung naging rhythm ng laro. Nandun na yung composure pero nawala pa. Siguro nag-relax pero buti na lang kumapit sila. Buti na lang bumalik yung puso nila,” said Air Force head coach Jasper Jimenez.
And when the going got tough, the Jet Spikers were able to dig deep, escaping Perlas in the fifth set to take a 26-24, 25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 15-13, win Tuesday night at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Air Force were still without guest player Patcharee Saengmuang, while Perlas did not have the services of imports Naoko Hashimoto and Rupia Inck.
May Ann Pantino led Air Force with 18 markers, while Joy Cases and Iari Yongco chipped in 17 points apiece. But Air Force committed a horrid 42 errors in the contest, much to the dismay of Jimenez.
“Ang sabi ko lang, gawin lang nila yung ginagawa nila sa ensayo pero hindi pa rin e. Yung mga services namin lagi pumupunta dun sa libero [Ella de Jesus]. Buti na lang nagsawa rin yung libero kaya nakaarangkada kami ng dalawa,” Jimenez furthered.
And during the fifth set, Perlas made a comeback from being down 9-11 to knot things up at 13-all.
“Suwerte rin siguro kasi merong may birthday din sa amin e,” Jimenez said, as Angel Antipuesto, who scored 10 points, was celebrating her birthday.
A couple of errors by Perlas, capped by a mis-hit by Amanda Villanueva gave Air Force the match.
Dzi Gervacio once again led Perlas with 15 markers, 13 coming from attacks and two from aces. Perlas’ frontline of Kathy Bersola and Amy Ahomiro combined for 26 points. Libero Ella Dejesus had 23 of Perlas’ 67 digs.
Air Force (1-1) will next face the Creamline Cool Smashers (0-1 on Thursday, May 4, at 4:00pm while the Perlas Lady Spikers (1-1) will have a four day break before facing the Power Smashers (1-1) on Saturday, May 6, at 4:00pm.
Air Force (108) – Pantino 18, Balmaceda 17, Cases 17, Antipuesto 10, Tapic 10, Semana 5, Andaya 1, Balmaceda (L), Abanto (L), Opp. Errors 30.
Perlas Spikers (108) – Gervacio 15, Bersola 13, Ahomiro 13, Villanueva 8, Roces 8, Tiamzon 3, Davanadera 2, Acevedo 2, Ferrer 2, Tajima 0, De Jesus (L), Opp. Errors 42.