Air Force weathers slow start to cool Baguio in V-League

Veterans Joy Cases, Judy Caballejo and Iari Yongco teamed up as the Philippine Air Force soared past cold Baguio in a straight-set win in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Open Conference Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Bucking a slow start in the first frame, the Jet Spikers zoomed past the Summer Spikers to hack out the 25-15, 25-18, 25-19 victory and stay unbeaten in the 8-team field.

Coach Jasper Jimenez commended his team for stepping up up to the plate even when Baguio tried to threaten them.

“Everyday is a championship game. Kaya siguro nagco-contribute sila lahat,” he said, while also lauding his other players for delivering the goods. “Lahat sila siguro one of these games, magiging best player din.”

“Yung first six ko, yun na siguro yung una kong matapang. Lahat naman sila matapang e. Yun yung dinedevelop namin kaya siguro kahit sinong ipasok mo, makakapag contribute,” he added.

Having beaten Bali Pure and the Summer Spikers so far, Jimenez and the Jet Spikers’ climb is about to get tougher, with youthful UP next on their schedule.

Jimenez knows that though they might be at a disadvantage physically, Air Force would have the edge when it comes to experience.

“Bata yung mga yun, pag nagkaroon ng kumpyansa yun, lalaban talaga yun. Very competitive din naman sila,” he said of the Lady Maroons. “Dapat walang kumpyansa sa players ko. Dapat pagtrabahuhan lahat ng game.”

And in a tight race to the semifinals, Jimenez knows they can’t afford to waste opportunities.

“Syempre yung mga remaining games namin, pagbubutihan pa namin. Malakas yung mga kalaban namin e. Lahat naman ng team very competitive e. Dapat laging hig morale yung mga players ko,” he said. — By Joyce Palad