Volleyball mind game is on
The cast of the Philippine Superliga semifinals is complete as PLDT Home Fiber ended Generika Ayala’s spirited quarterfinals run.
Losing its twice to beat edge after a Game 1 loss, PLDT survived five grueling sets in the second duel against a gritty Lifesavers crew that had quality imports in Thai Kanjana Kuthaisong and Azerbaijan national player Kseniya Kocyigit.
In the upcoming semis, Petron and F2 still have the edge in their respective best-of-three encounters. Petron will take on Cignal HD and hopes to keep its undefeated run going in the semifinals all the way to the finals. PLDT will have to play at even higher level to match up against an F2 squad that has two good imports and a strong local compliment.
Anything can happen as the imports are expected to dominate and will probably neutralize each other. The homegrown stars will have to produce points for the winning difference. This happened in the first match between Foton and F2 in the quarterfinals where Foton had import Courtney Felinski and a hurting Milagros Collar but also got major dividends from recently reinstated Jaja Santiago. Foton forced a second match although falling short that time around.
In the UAAP, La Salle took Ateneo out of its system and handed the Lady Eagles their second loss with a straight sets triumph last Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In the Ateneo timeouts, coach Oliver Almarado was begging his team to revise its mindset as it was being shackled by the Lady Spikers’ defense and varied weapons. La Salle got major contributions from May Luna, Desiree Cheng, Jolina De La Cruz, Des Clemente and Aduke Ogunsanya.
It’s hard to beat a La Salle team bent on repeating against its rival. The Lady Spikers have been the only team to inflict the two losses of the Katipunan six. Ateneo’s sterling 10 game winning run was snapped while La Salle picked up a fourth straight triumph.
Whether on a post-graduate level or in the school ranks, volleyball demands intense concentration on every point. There is no time limit that will give you a win if you’re leading because you need to reach the assigned final score of a set. There are no three point shots or free throws here and each time you successfully receive, pass and attack you score. Conversely, you also lose points when you fail to defend or mess up your serve or passing.
It’s really just one point at a time.