Lady Warriors brace for V-League finals

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Pocari Sweat’s Michele Gumabao (No. 7) goes for a kill against BaliPure’s Alyssa Valdez during their sudden death for the second finals berth in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Pocari Sweat’s Michele Gumabao (No. 7) goes for a kill against BaliPure’s Alyssa Valdez during their sudden death for the second finals berth in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Pocari Sweat interim coach Rommel Abella has stressed the need for his wards to polish their service and toughen up on reception as they gear up for a clash with the top seeded Air Force side for the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference crown beginning on Wednesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

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One week after humbling the star-studded BaliPure Water Defenders in a thrilling sudden death to clinch the other finals berth, the Lady Warriors look to getting back at the in-form Jet Spikers, who swept their Laoag Power Smashers in their side of the semis duel.

But Abella said they are the underdogs in the best-of-three title series.

“I do think so, considering Air Force beat us in our first meeting,” said Abella referring to their 25-20, 17-25, 22-25, 15-25 defeat to the Lady Jet Spikers on June 27 that enabled the latter to gain the top seeding in the Final Four.

And the Jet Spikers lived up to the hype, dominating the Power Smashers to advance to the finals for the first time since Air Force joined the league where it all started a decade ago.

Abella, however, is confident his Lady Warriors will raise the level of their game come finals.

“We really played poorly against them the last time we played so we have to receive well and serve better,” said Abella.

He also took notice of his wards’ tendency to start slow.

“Despite our slow starts, we always keep coming back and heat up in time to win games,” said Abella. “But we can’t afford that against a veteran team like Air Force, we have to play strong early.”

For Myla Pablo, she hopes to sustain her strong showing in the conference backed by Mikasa and Accel.

“I know my teammates support me a lot, that’s why I want to reciprocate it by giving out my best,” said Pablo, who normed a whopping 26 hits in leading Pocari past the Alyssa Valdez-led BaliPure in the last two games of their semis playoff.

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