Go-for-Gold Air Force ace Ran Abdilla felt devastated after pointing out their lowly fourth set which, for him, cost them Game One of the Spikers’ Turf Open Conference Finals.
After dropping the first set, Air Force was able to swing the momentum on their side. They then bagged the following sets to take a 2-1 advantage over Cignal.
However, with the Jet Spikers a set away from taking home the first game of the best-of-three gold medal series, disaster struck. The Go for Gold-backed team squandered their advantage and fell to the HD Spikers in five-sets, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 11-15.
“Nung fourth set naman, medyo obvious naman na nabantayan nila kami.
“Lahat nang palo, including ‘yung palo ko, talagang nache-check nila. Siguro ‘yun ‘yung malaking bagay na nakapagpanalo sa kanila. Lahat ng nare-recover nila, naco-convert pa nila as point,” said a disappointed Abdilla, who finished the match with 18 points and 21 excellent receptions.
Jet Spikers head coach Dante Alinsunurin pointed out another factor in the fourth-set blunder, saying that his wards were rattled, which caused them to fail on executing their plays.
“Siguro ‘yung fourth set, na-rattle kami.
“’Yung depensa namin although ‘yung depensa namin umangat. Kaya lang pagdating sa pag-puntos, hindi namin nakukuha,” said the Philippine team mentor.
A day from their Game Two face-off, Abdilla believes that he and the Jet Spikers will need to work on their defensive schemes to have a chance at taking down the streaking HD Spikers.
“Focus lang, training lang. Sundin lang ang lahat ng pinapagawa ni coach tapos ayon, sana makabawi kami,” he said.
“Sana gumana ‘yung receive namin, lalo na ‘yung service namin. Hopefully, sana makabawi kami next game.”