Tatak Tamaraw: Former FEU star setters shining in V-League finals

Pocari Sweat’s Game 2 win at the 13th Shakey’s V-League Open Conference finale proves anew the old sports adage ‘defense wins games.’

After fumbling on reception in Game 1, the Lady Warriors turned the tables on Air Force, delivering good first balls to setter Gyzelle Sy which eventually resulted to a 4-set win, 17-25, 25-22, 25-14, 25-20.

“Sa service-receive talaga kami nag focus. Dun kami nagco-collapse eh. Sabi sa amin ni coach kada receive hindi pwedeng papabayaan. Dun kami pinatay nung Game 1 eh,” Sy told FOX Sports.

With libero Melissa Gohing finishing with 15 excellent receptions and the rest of the team chipping in 12 more, the playmaker got to fool the gritty net defense of the Jet Spikers as she ended the match with 53 excellent sets.

On powering Myla Pablo and Elaine Kasilag to a combined 30-point output, Sy shares: “Ngayon talaga nakaka-execute ako ng magandang plays. Ibig lang sabihin nun naging maganda ‘yung receive namin.”

“Ang una talagang sinabi ng coach namin eh kailangan namin manalo kasi do-or-die na ito,” she added, talking about their mindset coming into the game. “Pag natalo kami dito, ‘yung lahat ng pinaghirapan namin simula nung unang training namin hanggang kahapon, mababalewala at masasayang.”

Sy’s performance Saturday at the PhilSports Arena eclipsed her FEU senior’s numbers as Wendy Semana finished with a not-too-shabby 45 excellent sets.

But instead of celebrating being the better setter of the day, the diminutive Laguna native talked about how she and Semana continue to uplift the Lady Tamaraws’s tradition of producing top notch playmakers.

“Sobrang proud ako kasi siya pinapanood ko lang siya dati. Sobrang idol ko talaga siya,” Sy shared, wide-eyed. “Naging challenge sa akin na taga FEU ito. Taga FEU din ako. So kailangan ‘yung tatak namin, maipagmalaki ko din. Dapat ‘yung mga skills niya, meron din ako.”

Shunning all the praises and crediting her teammates for a job well done, she adds: “Tingin ko naman nasabayan ko siya. Pero dahil lang sa tulong ng mga teammates ko. Hindi ako makakagawa ng plays kung hindi nila ako tinutulungan.”

Both Pocari Sweat and Air Force will have a day to prepare for the titanic battle happening Monday at the same venue.

Asked for a message for the legendary Semana before their Game 3 face-off, Sy closed by saying: “Ate Wendy, good luck na lang sa atin. Pakita na lang natin ang tatak Tamaraw.” —By Mac Dionisio

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