In its long time of participation in the Shakey’s V-League, Air Force has never entered the championship round.
As a matter of fact, the Jet Spikers have not gotten a podium finish in the tournament yet, getting fourth place twice in Season 10 and Season 11.
And now after a sweep of Laoag in Game 1 of the Open Conference semifinals, veteran spiker Joy Cases is happy that the hard work they have put in is about to pay off.
“Sobrang laking boost na nanalo kami ng first game. Kasi syempre, isa nalang e. Lahat ng pinagtetraining namin at pinaghihirapan namin, ayan na konti nalang. Malapit na. Andun na kami sa ginogoal namin na mag finals,” she told FOX Sports.
“Naging malaking factor din na nanalo kami nung Pocari kaya nakatapat namin yung Rank 4. Hindi parin kami masyadong magrerelax. Training ulit kinabukasan at sa mga susunod na araw before Saturday’s game.”
Playing a little bit loose in the past couple of the games, Cases noticed how the team was performing better as the tournament nears its end, stunning erstwhile unbeaten Pocari Sweat then serving revenge on the only team to nip them in the elimination round in Laoag.
“Ngayon kasi napansin ko rin and mas nagustuhan ko rin na mas nadidistribute nung setter namin lahat and mas nagagamit niya lahat nung spikers. Mas napapractice namin yung mga play. Lahat talaga nagsestep-up,” she added.
And while winning Game 1 was hard enough, Cases believes finishing the Power Smashers off in Game 2 on Saturday will be doubly tougher.
“Babawi ang Laoag, alam naman namin yun. Kahit naman siguro kami yung nasa posisyon nila. But then, mas magfofocus parin kami dun sa naging weakness namin nung game,” she explained. “Service, receive, key spikers nila, mas magfofocus kami dun. Mas tututukan namin yung mga galaw nila. Mas naeenjoy namin. Kasi malapit na e, konti nalang. Mas naeenjoy na namin yung laro namin.” — By Joyce Palad