Reigning supreme in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Open Conference, it looks like the Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors are on pace for another title run in the Reinforced Conference.
After dropping their first match against their Open Conference Finals opponents, the Air Force Lady Jet Spikers, the Lady Warriors then went on a tear, sending down Coast Guard and the University of the Philippines.
And Saturday night, Pocari posted yet another victory, sweeping fan favorites Bureau of Customs in straight sets to earn their third win in a row and improve their record to 3-1.
But despite their dominant showing in the preliminary round, Pocari team captain Michele Gumabao downplayed their current streak, saying it is still early the conference.
“Its just like any other win. They’re just every other team in the league. It’s just the elims so wala pa talaga kaming napapatunayan,” said Gumabao
“It’s still a long journey. We’re racking up as much wins as we can para pagdating ng semis or Finals may puhunan kami. Siyempre aside from points, yung confidence [at] yung tapang namin sa loob, yun yung bini-build namin.”
The La Salle alumna also iterated that the Lady Warriors should continue working hard and should not relax despite their current status, especially now that the conference is about to reach the playoffs.
“It’s about how we win it. Kailangan lumabas fire at teamwork sa loob at napakita naman namin yun kanina. It was a good game for everybody pero ‘di pa dapat dito nagtatapos porke natalo namin isa sa mga favorites. Dapat tuloy tuloy pa rin trabaho namin,” said the 24-year-old.
Their three-set victory over Customs, who are led by Alyssa Valdez and two Thai imports, proved to be a shocking one considering how loaded the Customs team is. But for Gumabao, it doesn’t come as a surprise to them anymore.
“We train for three-set games, we train for a win. You always expect a win and a good game but you have to be prepared for the worst.”
“Each and every game kailangan expectation namin sa sarili namin tumataas. Kailangan parang china-challenge namin sarili namin,” explained the five-foot-ten opposite hitter.
With their impressive outings in the last three games, the 2016 Open Conference titlists are considered heavy favorites for the Reinforced Conference crown. But for the team, they’re not thinking about that for now, as they try to take it one game at a time.
“For me it’s a new season. It’s not the same teams. Every team is a team to beat kahit yung mga teams na akala mo ‘di aabot. For me its just each and every game dun focus,” said the US-born volleybelle.
When asked about which teams she thinks can give Pocari a run for their money in chasing the gold, Gumabao said that such thing is the least of their concern.
“Pag nakarating na kami sa finals dun namin po-problemahin kalaban namin. Challenge din sa amin yun na we have to prove them right. Kailangan we live up to that expectations,” she declared.