By KRISTEL SATUMBAGAFor Pocari Sweat interim coach Rommel Abella, chemistry and the determination to rise from the challenge became the key ingredients in the team’s first-ever title in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference.
Abella said the squad was completely formed only one week before the conference started, but their jelling and communication in the court instantly became effective.
“Nag-click lang yung mga players kaagad. Wala naman silang ginagawang special sa training, pero yung bonding nila, mas buo, mas masaya,” said Abella, who coached the team all conference because head coach Tai Bundit had other commitments to attend to.
The team’s cohesiveness became most evident in the best-of-three finals against Air Force, where the Lady Warriors rose from a Game 1 loss and won the next two matches to capture the crown in their debut appearance in the league.
Prior to that, Pocari threaded the eye of the needle and ousted fancied BaliPure also in a rubbermatch of their best-of-three semifinal affair.
The championship against Air Force, likewise, avenged Pocari’s stinging heartbreak at the end of the eliminations, where they were relegated to second seed after the Lady Jet Spikers snapped their six-game winning streak.
“Since nabansagan na nga kaming ‘Comeback Queens,’ sabi ko sa kanila, i-prove na natin na kaya talaga nating manalo,” said Abella.
Abella was full of praises for his stalwarts including Myla Pablo and Elaine Kasilag, who carried the fight for the Lady Warriors particularly in their 29-27, 18-25, 25-21, 25-19 triumph in Game 3.