Shortly after succumbing to the young Power Smashers in the Premier V.League (PVL) Reinforced Conference, Pocari Sweat spent almost an hour in the locker room.
Head coach Rommel Abella bared that there are a bunch of reasons why his powerhouse squad easily bowed down.
He admitted that the Lady Warriors have somehow underestimated the mettle of the underrated Power Smashers.
[quote]”Siguro (underestimated Power Smashers). Pero sabi ko nga sa kanila we’re not here to just play, we’re here to defend the championship.”[/quote]
He added that the absence of their foreign reinforcements Edina Selimovic and Michelle Strizak due to failure of processing their international transfer certificates (ITC) also affected the complexion of their game.
After all, they’ve been training with their imports for over a month so the fact that they couldn’t play came as a major surprise.
[quote]”Isang factor na rin kasi, we just had one day to prepare for the game ng walang import.”[/quote]
Aside from the imports, one person curiously missing in the new-look Pocari Sweat is a leader, a role being played by former Most Valuable Player Michele Gumabao.
Abella said they’ve been used to Gumabao’s leadership, who bolted out of the team after failing to reach an agreement with the management.
But he stressed that the Lady Warriors have to start anew and move past of Gumabao.
[quote]”In a way meron (missing Gumabao’s leadership). Kasi sabi ko nga sa interviews before siguro na-spoil kami sa leadership ni Michele. Pero sabi ko naman sa kanila bago pa mag-start na let’s move past Michele na and we just have to chip in sa leadership sa team namin.”[/quote]
The Lady Warriors would have to bank on the leadership of defense specialist Melissa Gohing in the new chapter of their story.
But Gohing would be needing the support of Pocari’s core players like Myla Pablo, Desiree Dadang, Gyselle Sy, Elaine Kasilag, Kai Nepomuceno and Shola Alvarez in steering the leadership role of the squad.
In the end, Abella was courageous enough to say that they just had an off-game and they’re ready to bounce back as they clash with Bali Pure next game.
[quote]”Off game lang namin ‘to kasi sabi ko nga sa kanila the way we practice this past few weeks hindi ganyan ‘yung laro namin. It’s just and off day for us. After all, champion teams are defined kung paano makabawi sa pagkatalo.”[/quote]
He said it’s just one game.
They still have a lot of chances to prove that they can survive without Gumabao – their leader.