Air Force avoids crash, sweeps UP for third straight V-League win

The Philippine Air Force almost crashed in the opening set, but recovered well enough to repulse UP, 27-25, 25-19, 25-17, in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Down 19-23 in the first, the Jet Spikers regrouped after coach Jasper Jimenez called for time and went on to win their third straight game in the tournament.

Jimenez said his wards were ready to claw back from such a deficit.

“Pinapractice namin yung ganung sitwasyon. Kasi nagkakaron kami (ng pagkakataon) na hinahabol namin yung ganung puntos tsaka yung ganung pressure,” he said. “So na-apply naman namin. Yung tiwala din nila sa isa’t-isa kaya siguro nila nagawa yun. Nangyari naman kaya na-overcome nila yung pressure na yun.”

With their first-set comeback, Air Force was able to gain enough confidence and simply cruised past the befuddled Lady Maroons in the last 2 frames.

“Parang bumigay na rin yung kalaban dahil nanghinayang dun (sa first set),” observed Jimenez, who saw 3 Jet Spikers finish in double-digits in another total team effort.

“Lahat talaga sila ineexpect ko na maging best player. Lahat naman sila nagcocontribute sa team. Hopefully sana magsabay-sabay na sila ng laro,” he said. “Merong lapses pero kailangan happy ka sa lahat ng ginagawa nila. Maganda yung kapit namin (kanina). Kahit nalalamangan kami, nakakarecover kami kagad sa game.”

“Kailangan lagi silang high morale para maging maganda yung harmony nila. Importante yung communication nila,” he added.

Jocemar Tapic had 15 points, Judy Caballejo added 14 and Dell Palomata posted 10 for the Air Force, which saw all its offensive starters score.

On the other hand, Kathy Bersola and Isa Molde each had 7 markers for UP. — By Joyce Palad

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