Defending champion Pocari Sweat kept its title hopes alive despite all the misfortunes that came their way in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.
The Lady Warriors, who were still adjusting with the departure of former skipper Michele Gumabao back then, opened their campaign with a disappointing loss to a young and developing Power Smashers.
And with all the imports failing to get their ITCs on time, they had to play without reinforcement halfway into the tournament, prompting local top hitter Myla Pablo to carry the cudgels.
But when the Lady Warriors are on the verge of booking an outright semis berth, they dropped a pair of crucial matches due to a back pain injury of Pablo and torn hamstring of Bosnian import Edina Selimovic.
Selimovic had to be replaced by Krystal Rivers.
Unfortunately, Rivers also failed to see action due to ITC woes.
With those setbacks, the Lady Warriors had to take a tougher road in the quarterfinals to keep their heads above water.
It was a test to their character.
But they gladly embraced the challenge.
Unlike their previous outings in the quarterfinals, the Lady Warriors finished the round with an easy win over Perlas 25-23, 25-15, 25-18 Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Spikers tried to put up a good fight.
But Pocari Sweat managed to trimmed down its errors and banked on to its scoring machines in Pablo and American reinforcement Michelle Strizak.
It was a collective effort.
Pocari Sweat head coach Rommel Abella finally unleashed a sigh of relief.
Abella said all those adversities kept them stonger and he’s crossing his fingers to bring the momentum in the semifinals when they face the Power Smashers, the same squad that tormented them early in the tourney.
[quote]”In a way nakakatulong siya, especially sabi ko nga, everytime you go through a five-setter game or a close game, nabi-build ‘yung confidence ng mga players, and ‘yung character nila, nate-test.”[/quote]
[quote]”It’s a good test of character talaga, sa team namin, ‘yung lahat ng nangyari from the very start.”[/quote]
The Lady Warriors are now back in the thick of things and those adversities only made them a lot stronger.