Laoag coach Nes Pamilar felt his players were way too uncomfortable with each other in their 5-set loss to Customs that he immediately planned a get-together.
His move proved to be the perfect solution as the Power Smashers rebounded with an impressive win over Air Force Wednesday at the Philsports Arena.
“Medyo gumana naman ngayon nakikipag-biruan na sila,” he said. “Yung nangyari sa amin parang sobrang hiya nila sa isa’t-isa e.”
“Doon lang kami sa isang lugar, kwentu-kwentuhan. Siguro naging factor yun kaya naging maganda yung laro namin ngayon,” he added.
After a fourth-place finish in the Open Conference, Laoag underwent a facelift in the offseason: from Mylene Paat’s departure to the addition of the power-attacking troika of Jorelle Singh, Aiko Urdas and Grethcel Soltones.
And with such an abundance of talent, Pamilar said chemistry will be the only hindrance to them making noise in the tournament.
“Yung skills nandoon, yung talent nandoon. Ang problema ko nga noong umpisa kung paano sila magcoconnect-connect,” he explained. “Sabi ko nga sa kanila hindi pwedeng nagkaka-hiyaan tayo.”
Laoag improved to a 2-1 record but faces tough competition in their remaining games.
They meet struggling UP on Monday, but streaking UST and import-powered Bali Pure and Pocari Sweat will follow.
Pamilar, however, is unfazed.
“May import okay lalaban kami. Ang sinasabi ko lagi sa mga bata kahit may import kung hindi magcocontribute ang local player balewala yun,” he said. “Kailangan lang every game paghandaan namin, may import o wala basta lumaban tayo, ibigay yung best na magagawa.” — By John Chester Fajardo