A depleted Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors line-up made easy work of Team Baguio Summer Spikers in just three sets, 25-18, 25-17, and 25-15 in the 13th Season of the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference Saturday afternoon at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan City.
Rossan Fajardo, replacing Myla Pablo in the line-up, tallied 15 points, 11 from attacks and four from aces, to lead the Lady Dubs. Cai Nepumuceno added 12 markers.
“Malaking kawalan sila Myla at Michele,” Pocari Sweat assistant coach Rommel Abella said. “Pero kampante naman kami sa mga nakuha namin na players na they are capable na gampanan yung role ng mga nawala sa team namin.”
The Lady Warriors successfully made their attacks in the opening set, propelling themselves to an 18-12 lead to pull closer in snagging a 1-0 set advantage. The Summer Spikers were able to close within three, 18-15, after a Mary Atuban open hit, but Pocari Sweat proved to be mightier as they outscored Baguio 7-3 behind Elaine Kasilag and Rossan Fajardo to win Set 1, 25-18.
Pocari Sweat started slow in the following set after committing a handful of errors which favored Baguio. But the Lady Warriors quickly shrugged off the error bug, creating hits after hits behind Kasilag, Fajardo, and Maricar Nepomuceno to establish the set’s biggest lead,18-9. The Summer Spikers were still able to generate offense from the attacks of Maria Tsuchiya, but Pocari Sweat’s much-loaded offensive firepower pushed them to go up 2-0, 25-17.
In the third and final set, it was all Pocari Sweat, who were able to post a huge 15-5 lead behind Fajardo, Nepomuceno, Erika Alkuino, and Roselle Baliton through a flurry of down-the-line hits and service aces. From the wide gap, the Lady Warriors never looked back, only allowing Baguio to score five more points to win via sweep, 25-15.
Abella addressed the injuries that plagued the team after the game. “Si Michele [Gumabao], merong parang rapture sa abdomen niya, so she needs to rest. Si Myla [Pablo[ naman, sa back. So advice of the doctors for them is to rest,” he said.
“No timeframe yet [for Michele],” added Abella.
No Summer Spiker scored in double-figures. Ai Tsuchiya led the way for Baguio with seven points.
The Lady Warriors (4-0) can clinch a semifinals berth on Saturday, June 18 as they face the Iriga City Lady Oragons (1-2). On the other hand, the Baguio Summer Spikers (0-4) need to win their game against the Laoag City Power Smashers on the same day to stay in contention.
Pocari Sweat (3) – Fajardo 15, Nepomuceno 12, Kasilag 9, Vargas 6, Baliton 5, Malaluan 4, Alkuino 4, Sy 1, Espelita 0, Dadang 0, Gohing (L), Enclona (L).
Baguio (0) – Tsuchiya 7, Guyguyon 5, Atuban 4, Dicksen 3, Rossi 2, Belsa 2, Atuban 2, Balantac 1, Costales 0, Reyes 0,