Akari opened the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference appearing to have turned its fortunes around with a 3-1 start but was dealt a harsh reality with three consecutive losses.
And the teams that the Chargers defeated to begin the season-ending conference of the tournament organized by Sports Vision were no joke, beating F2 Logistics in five, Chery Tiggo in four, and Farm Fresh in four.
Then came the reality check by Cignal and Choco Mucho before the stunner victory of sister team NXLED that dropped Akari to a 3-4 card.
In a rollercoaster conference, newly-acquired Fifi Sharma shared that what was admirable in their team was the way they acknowledged their mistakes.
“What’s good about my teammates is they realize na we have things to work on,” said the 5-foot-11 middle blocker after the Chargers’ response to their skid, winning back-to-back including a straight sets win against Galeries on Thursday.
“So especially pag natatalo kami, parang di talaga namin matanggap so we talk through it, we work 100-percent during practices para talaga makabawi kami.”
With much-needed victories against lowly Gerflor and Galeries, Akari continued to cling to that little chance of making the four-team semifinals of the country’s premier league.
“I think this is also good kasi we get to know each other more through these losses kasi we overcome as a team tapos ito nga, when we win, of course, we celebrate as a team,” shared the De La Salle University product.
“Yun nga, pag natalo kami, di lang naman isang tao yung talo, everybody, the whole Akari franchise so pag nanalo din kami, everyone wins so everybody’s happy.”
Akari can still make the semifinals if it aces its last two games against Petro Gazz and Creamline, while hoping that Cignal loses both its remaining games against NXLED and Gerflor.
“There’s always pressure, syempre, sa amin kasi naghahabol din kami so ayun, we have to overcome that challenge din as a team kasi these are the most important games of the conference for us so we have to not just be 100 percent, but the best we can,” added Sharma, who delivered 12 points against the Highrisers.