Shorthanded Pocari Sweat eases past winless Baguio for 4-0 mark
Pocari Sweat stars Michele Gumabao and Myla Pablo didn’t play due to injuries, but their absence hardly mattered as the Lady Warriors breezed past Baguio, 25-18, 25-17, 25-15, to secure a playoff spot in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Rossan Fajardo and Kai Nepomuceno plugged the holes left by Gumabao and Pablo, scoring 15 and 12 points, respectively to lead Pocari Sweat to its fourth win in as many games.
Pocari assistant coach Rommel Abella admitted Gumabao and Pablo’s loss was a big blow to his team, but he remained confident that the Lady Warriors are still very much capable to get it done.
“Malaking kawalan si Michele at si Myla but I know and believe that yung mga players na kinuha namin are capable na gampanan yung role ng kung sino man yung wala sa team,” said Abella, who’s filling in for head coach Tai Bundit.
Maria Tsuchiya had a team-high seven points for Baguio, which is a loss away from elimination after reeling to a 0-4 mark.
Abella said the former De La Salle captain Gumabao missed the game due to a “rupture in her abdomen” while the ex-National University standout Pablo was sidelined because of a bad back after an awkward landing during the team’s training on Tuesday.
“Michele meron siyang parang rupture sa abdomen niya so she needs to rest while Myla sa back so advise ng doctors is to rest both players,” said Abella.
Pocari Sweat has lightweight Iriga coming up next Saturday before wrapping up the elimination round with a pair of showdowns against Bali Pure and Air Force.
Abella said the team doesn’t want to look too far ahead, though, he added he notices that the players couldn’t help but be excited about the challenges that await.
“Since we’re taking this tournament one game at a time, hindi pa namin sila masyadong pinagtutuunan ng pansin. Our preparation has always been for the next game,” he said.
“But napapansin ko sa mga players very excited silang makaharap ang Bali Pure and Air Force. Aside, from being friends, matagal na rin silang magkakalaban so I guess the challenge is still there.”
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