After an up-and-down campaign early in the PVL Reinforced Conference, the Pocari Sweat-Air Force Lady Warriors are looking like the championship teams of old.
After squeezing into the semifinals, the defending champions handed the top-seeded Creamline Cool Smashers a straight-set decision to gain the edge in the best-of-three series.
Lady Warriors head coach Jasper Jimenez lauded his players’ sudden, inspired play. Jimenez saw his team play up or down to their opponents throughout the season.
With their backs against the wall, Jimenez relished his team’s burst of consistency.
“Tsamba! Pwede! Maganda gising namin kaya naka-tsamba kami. Pagandahan ng gising. Maganda ang gising namin, lahat kami maganda ang gising,” joked Jimenez.
“Siguro nakauna kami. ‘Di sanay ang Creamline na natatalo sa first set. Wala silang game na natatalo sa first set – laging sila ang nauuna, so siguro malaking factor na nakauna kami. Kami rin hirap makakuha ng first set nabaligtad ngayon,” the enlisted Air Force personnel added.
Jimenez was particularly proud of import Arielle Love, who played through dehydration and cramps in both her calves.
“Actually, galing sa sakit si Love,” he disclosed. “Kanina parang dehydrated siya. Ibinigay din niya ang love niya sa laro, yung puso niya, pusong palaban talaga.
“Actually, dalawang (binti) na nga ang bumigay sa kanya pero nandiyan pa rin ang desire to win.”
Coming in to Wednesday, Jimenez expects a hungry Creamline side to bar their entry into the Finals.
“Meron pa kaming adjustment, hindi pa naman perfect ‘yung laro namin. ‘Yung service namin dagdagan pa namin ang karga ng service namin, ‘yung receive number one ‘yun kaya nakakahabol. Kung worse ang receive namin, worst pa ang sa kalaban kaya ‘yun ang naging advantage namin,” Jimenez shared.
“Marami pa kaming dapat i-improve, ‘yung team play namin.”