The veterans of the Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors led late comeback to douse the National University Lady Bulldogs and remain undefeated in the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference, 34-32, 17-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-11, at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Neither team took a lead greater than two in the opening set and dragged into a heated deuce. With the momentum swinging wildly, Myla Pablo drove Pocari home, scoring off a hit then serving an ace to take the early led.
Pocari Sweat froze in the next two sets. Unable to properly control the ball while giving up multiple attack errors, the Lady Dubs gave National U chances to rally late and take the next two sets.
Barely producing in early in the match, Pocari’s Pablo and Elaine Kalisag came alive to keep their team in the match. Gaining confidence, the Lady Warriors improved their passing and controlled the fourth frame right from the first point.
They then carried their momentum into the fifth set, sprinting to a 13-6 lead behind timely aces from Kasilag. The Lady Bulldogs managed to bring the lead down to three, 14-11, but Pablo stymied her former team, driving in the game-winning point.
Pocari team captain Michele Gumabao put up the best stat line of her career, amassing 27 points on 17 attacks, eight blocks, and two aces. Kasilag added 21 markers while Pablo contributed 18.
“Nagkulang kami noong una sa ball control,” said Pocari Sweat assistant coach Rommel Abella. “Kaya during the match, ang palagi ko lang reminder sa kanila is to execute what we do in practice. Thankfully, nagstep-up yung nga scorers namin noong dulo.”
The towering Jaja Santiago led the Lady Bulldogs with 23 points. Burly open hitter Jorelle Singh provided 21 points while NU’s young pair of Audrey Paran and Roma Doromal each had nine. Aiko Urdas missed the game due to injury.
The game took two hours to finish.
The Lady Warriors (2-0) will only have a two-day break before facing the Laoag City Power Smashers (0-1) on Saturday, June 4 at 6:30pm. The Lady Bulldogs (1-1) look to bounce back on Monday, June 6 as they face the Bali Pure Purest Water Defenders (0-1) at 6:30pm.
Pocari Sweat (3) – Gumabao 27, Kasilag 21, Pablo 18, Malalian 5, Dadang 3, Fajardo 1, Sy 1, Vargas 1, Nepomuceno 1, Espelita 0, Alkuino 0, Gohing (L)
National University (2) – Santiago 23, Singh 21, Paran 9, Doromal 9, Sato 5, Nabor 4, Chavez (L), Valdez (L)