Gruelling duel vs Bali Pure prepares Pocari for tough Finals ahead
After the gruelling semifinals series against Bali Pure, Michele Gumabao believes that Pocari Sweat are now more prepared for a tougher road ahead in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference Finals.
“They were a tough team to beat. They played their best. They brought everything they could and it’s our honor to play semis with them because it gave us the heart to make it to the Finals,” she said. “At least now, alam namin yung weakness namin, na kaya kaming talunin, and we have everything to lose if we relax and give in to our opponents.”
The Lady Warriors downed the Purest Water Defenders in four sets, 15-25, 27-25, 25-11, 25-23, on Monday to arrange a date against Philippine Air Force in the Finals.
And for Pocari Sweat, the championship appearance is a validation of its efforts in its first foray in the V-League.
“It feels great. I love this team so much, the commitment and heart of each player, mararamdaman mo talaga every time you step on the court,” said Gumabao.
Pablo, who has been Pocari’s key contributors in its run to the finals, also believed their hard work paid of.
“Sobrang saya kasi yung hirap namin sa training namin, nasuklian.”
Gumabao, the former La Salle star middle blocker, said that Pocari Sweat’s five-game stretch that pitted them against either Bali Pure or Air Force allowed the team to see the gaping holes in its system.
“At least, nakita na namin lahat ng mali namin. As players, we know how to get back from our personal off-games, and as a team, we know na kaya kaming talunin,” she said. “I’ve been there before and if matalo ka sa Finals, yun ang mas masakit. So sabi ko, OK na matalo tayo sa eliminations and semis para pagdating sa Finals, we’re hungrier, more prepared, and we could use those things to push ourselves.”
As the Lady Warriors shift their focus to the Finals, all they want is to stick with the things that allowed them to make it this far.
“We wanted it more. We came to that game, this season with one goal in mind and we said no matter what the setback is, no matter the challenge is, we will try our best to win the championship,” said Gumabao.
“Nasa Finals na kami and dapat team work lang. As a team, may tiwala kami sa isa’t isa, and kay God kami humihingi ng tulong at lakas sa loob para lumaban,” Pablo ended.
Game 1 of the Finals is set on July 13 at Philsports Arena. Miguel de Leon/ Philippine Daily Inquirer trainee
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