Missing key player not an excuse for crucial F2 Logistics loss–coach
MANILA, Philippines — F2 Logistics coach Benson Bocboc stressed that Kalei Mau’s absence is not an excuse after falling to the Prisilla Rivera-led Akari, 21-25, 25-22, 24-26, 22-25, in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference on Tuesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Mau sat out against the Power Chargers for medical reasons, according to her coach, but the broadcast team announced that the Filipino-American star is nursing a calf injury.
But Bocboc believes her absence wasn’t the reason they failed to inch closer to gaining a semifinal berth, falling to 3-3 and a three-way tie in the fourth seed with Choco Mucho and Cignal.
“Given na ‘yan. ‘Di na ako umaasa na makukumpleto ‘yan. So, different situation, different times. You just have to be ready kung sino ‘yung andiyan at sino ‘yung fit,” said the F2 Logistics coach.
(It’s already given that we won’t be complete this tournament. We have to get used to different situations and different times. You just have to be ready with whoever is fit and present in the match.)
Bocboc lamented on their floor defense as they failed to stop Rivera’s 32-point explosion. The Power Chargers also outhustled them on defense, digging their attacks as Lindsay Stalzer was limited to 17 points.
“Our passing and reception were off. Akari proved to be more steady on defense. They were able to save all of our strong attacks. Both of us were well-prepared for this game but unfortunately, their preparation worked and got the winning result,” he said in Filipino.
The F2 Logistics coach said they really prepared for Rivera but the three-time Olympian from Dominican Republic was just hard to stop.
“We’re prepared for her offense. Even if our defense tried to cover her attacks, she still found a way to kill the ball. Prisilla is really different offensively compared to other imports,” he added.
After getting stunned by an also-ran Akari side, Bocboc stressed the importance of their last two games as only two semis spots are up four grabs with Creamline (6-1) and Chery Tiggo (5-2) gaining the first two and Petro Gazz (4-2) needing one more win to secure the third.
F2 Logistics needs to beat Cignal on Saturday at the Big Dome and get a winning result against Petro Gazz on Tuesday next week at Philsports Arena to secure a semis berth.
“We just have to prepare more, better, in terms of our offense because the teams are scouting us and making adjustments,” Bocboc said. “Of course, the No. 1 priority is to get into the semis. We cannot disregard anyone because we’re up against strong teams. So Cignal, then PetroGazz, we’ll take it one game at a time.”
“We’ll focus on Cignal, first. We will give all our best in our game with the Cignal team,” he added.
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