While focus is on the BaliPure-Pocari Sweat duel, Air Force is basking away from the limelight, contented with its spot and confident of its chances in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference.
In fact, after getting back at Laoag, 25-20, 26-24, 26-24, in the opener of their best-of-three semifinal clash last Wednesday, the Jet Spikers seem to have the Power Smashers all figured out as they go for a sweep tomorrow for a crack at the championship.
With hardly a superstar in its roster, Air Force has been dishing out one solid game after another, emerging as the only team to have beaten the star-studded Pocari Sweat and BaliPure in the elims.
The Jet Spikers did drop a three-setter to the Power Smashers in the qualifiers but they more than made up for the setback by beating the erstwhile unbeaten the Lady Warriors at the end of the elims and then evening things up with their tormentors in the Final Four.
Now, the Jet Spikers are three wins away from completing a big comeback in the country’s premier women’s volley league sponsored by Shakey’s.
Air Force took a leave of absence after placing fourth in the 2014 Open Conference, opting to toughen up by competing in various commercial leagues the next two years.
Gaining some experience and confidence, the Jet Spikers are back in the league where it all started, upending the Water Defenders in their first game then racking up five more victories against a lone defeat to clinch the top seeding in the Final Four.
Veterans Judy Ann Caballejo and Joy Cases continue to be the team’s anchor both in offense and defense while Jocemer Tapic, Mae Antipuesto, May Ann Pantino, Wendy Semana and Iari Yongco have been providing the needed support along with Jennifer Manzano, Yna Papa and Camille Abanto and liberos Mary Ann Balmaceda and Mae Crisostomo.
But coach Jeffrey Jimenez expects his wards to further raise the level of their game tomorrow, not only to neutralize an expected Laoag fightback but also to prepare them for a possible clash with one of the league’s most fancied teams for a first-ever Shakey’s V-League championship.