• Gutsy Lady Warriors lording it over sans coach


    No Thai coach, no problem for Pocari Sweat.

    With two victories to kick off their maiden campaign in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference, the Lady Warriors are hardly missing coach Tai Bundit, who is on an extended vacation in Thailand.

    “Coach Tai is still in vacation,” Pocari Sweat team manager Eric Ty told The STAR. “He will join and coach us by the end of July while he’ll join Ateneo in mid-June.”

    That would mean Bundit won’t be around for the duration of Pocari Sweat’s stint in the season-opening conference sponsored by Shakey’s. But from the looks of things, the Lady Warriors are responding well to Rommel Abella’s calls.

    They trounced the UP Lady Maroons, 25-18, 25-14, 25-22, in Saturday’s inaugurals then wore down the National U Lady Bulldogs in a thrilling come-from-behind 34-32, 17-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-11 triumph late Wednesday.

    True to her hype, former La Salle star Michele Gumabao has been leading the Lady Warriors’ charge in the early going of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Accel, norming 20 hits, including a solid 27-point output against the Lady Bulldogs that also saw her unleash eight blocks.

    Gumabao also flashed her defensive skills to underscore her superb all-around game, coming out with 13 digs.

    “She is the leader of this team and in the NU game, she showed why,” said Abella.

    Ty also mentioned the struggles of the power-spiking Myla Pablo and how she recovered in time to help Pocari escape past NU.

    “What makes our team strong is our faith in each other. Myla (Pablo) had a terrible first two sets but we didn’t gave up on her and she repaid our trust in spades in the crucial fourth and fifth sets,” said Ty.

    Others stepping up for the team are Elaine Kasilag, Lutgarda Malaluan, Siemens Dadang, Rossan Fajardo, Maricar Nepomuceno, Erika Alkuino, Sarah Espelita, Rose Vargas, setter Gyselle Sy and libero Melissa Gohing.

    They gun for win No. 3 against Team Laoag tomorrow, faces Baguio on June 11, takes on Iriga on June 18 before clashing with the Alyssa Valdez-led BaliPure on June 25. They close out their elims campaign against Air Force on June 27.


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