V-League Game 2 semis previews
by rick olivares
Bali Pure and Pocari Sweat are one match away from forging a finals showdown for the Reinforced Conference championship of the Shakely’s V-League.
Both sides repeated their preliminary round victories over Bureau of Customs and the University of Santo Tomas respectively with three-set sweeps in Game One of the semi-finals.
In the Bali Pure-BOC tussle, the Transformers had all sorts of reception problems that saw them unable to launch a lot of set plays. Team captain Alyssa Valdez scattered her 15 points and was hardly a factor in the match as Bali Pure, her former team, had her number. The Purest Water Defenders saw several players contribute mightily to their one-game advantage. Amy Ahomiro, Charo Soriano, Sue Roces, and Ella De Jesus provided massive support to Kate Morrell and Kaylee Manns.
For the other semis match-up, UST had to contend with the huge game from the middle hitter position by Andrea Kacsits who had her best game of the tournament. Wary of Breanna Mackie and Myla Pablo from the open and utility positions and with the ever present threat of Michelle Gumabao, Kacsits was the x-factor – blocking shots and providing scoring sock in the middle.
What must BOC do to get back in the series?
In my opinion, two things. One, head coach Sherwin Meneses has to work on his team’s reception. Ironically, that is supposed to be his specialty. And BaliPure has generally also had problems receiving. And two, he has to dig deep into his bench. I believe that he should start Fenela Emnas at the setter position over Nic Jaisaen and try others like Jonah Corpuz in the middle. Emnas gave a very good account of herself in BOC’s first two matches including the win over Laoag where Valdez broke the single game scoring record with 39 points.
Jaisaen as good as the guest player is, tends to set only for certain players and forgets she has other teammates. Furthermore, her service is terrible and her confidence has gone down.
What must UST do to get back in the series?
This team is better than what it has showed. Sure, they are having problems with Pocari’s tall frontline. That is where the playmaking by Alex Cabanos and Alina Bicar come in to play. They have to make better and quicker decisions in shifting around the Lady Warriors’ defense.
As we pointed out in our semi-finals preview, the issue with the Golden Tigresses isn’t talent. They are a deep team loaded with talent. It’s the mental fortitude that is lacking. When they get down, they tend to stay down.
Take a look when things go wrong, the players all look to the bench. Not only for answers but also because in fear of what their coaches will say to them.
This team won a University Games title just recently. You know they are good. They just have to bring it every day, every game.
This V-League conference should help them for the UAAP season; not break them.
Today’s (November 7) matches at the Philsports Arena:
Pocari Sweat vs. UST 4pm
BaliPure vs. Bureau of Customs 6pm