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Air Force had payback in mind against AFP rival PacificTown-Army


By virtue of the 2019 PVL Open Conference standings, Air Force and PacificTown-Army had no reason to get all that hot-blooded heading into their campaign finale on Wednesday.

Already positioned out of the Final Four picture, a win would be a mere consolation for the squad that’ll come out victorious. But the two teams still treated the match with playoff-like intensity, especially for Air Force.

The reason?

“Ito ‘yung time na, pagkakataon namin na makabawi kasi dalawang beses kami tinalo noong AFP Olympics, sila nag-champion,” Air Force head coach Jasper Jimenez shared.

“Second kami, nag-championship kami ng Army.”

As it turned out, Jimenez and his Lady Jet Spikers suffered heartbreaking losses to the Lady Troopers in the title series of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Olympics, a 23-sport event that was held in October which allowed the soldiers, policemen and coast guard personnels to showcase their wares in various sports.

So, one cannot blame Air Force to have payback in mind. Pride and Bragging rights were at stake, after all.

“Etong placing na ‘to, kahit placing nalang pero pride pa rin.

“Kailangan natin manalo dito kasi ‘yun ‘yung pinakamahalagang liga namin, ‘yung AFP Olympics, ‘yun talaga prestige namin kasi isang taong kantsawan ng mga generals ‘yun habang nagme-meeting,” Jimenez bared.

He then continued, “Kasi habang nagme-meeting sa [General Headquarters], Armed Forces, Navy, Air Force habang nasa isang meeting, ‘Mahina pala ‘yung ano mo e!’ Gan’un ‘yung mga kantsawan diyan. Kaya ‘yun talaga pinakamahalaga sa amin na hindi namin nakuha.”

Fortunately, Jimenez and his wards were able to redeem themselves, pouncing on the absence of Jovelyn Gonzaga and the Kungfu Reyes-less PacificTown-Army.

#ReadMore  JJFP unveils national team pool

Judy Ann Caballejo and Dell Palomata dealt the damage, raining down 15 points apiece — all of which came from attacks. On the other hand, Joy Cases provided the added firepower with 13 markers, while May Ann Pantino flashed her all-around brilliance to the tune of 10 points, 20 excellent receptions and 25 excellent digs.

At the end of the day, Jimenez can finally say that he didn’t just hold the fort for Air Force’s positive conclusion to its Open Conference campaign, but also sweet revenge at the expense of their AFP rivals.

“Pero sabi ko nga, bago ako mag-retire, talunin naman nila, talunin naman natin,” he said.

“Hindi para sa amin, tanggapin nalang namin. Bawi nalang next time, gan’un naman di ba? Wag ka titigil para manalo ka kasi kapag tumigil ka, hindi ka makakabawi.”

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