MANILA – In a post-game interview after the shocking loss of her team in Game 2 of the best-of-three semi-finals series of the 13th Shakey’s V-League Open Conference, Bali Pure’s playing Head Coach Charo Soriano shared what went wrong for her squad.
“Our errors made us lose that game,” she opened. “The last point was a service ace, so that was clearly a miscommunication from our defenders. There were three (of them) there, they could have easily gotten that.”
The huge crowd at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan witnessed a very different Bali Pure squad on Saturday. The Purest Water Defenders seemed to be lost and in disarray in certain parts of the match which was the exact opposite of their performance in a convincing Game 1 victory.
But Soriano was not one to close her eyes on how well their opponents, the Pocari Sweat Lady Spikers, performed in the match. “Pocari played a really good game. We have to give it to them also.”
“A loss is a loss, and losing to a good team is good because you know that you have to improve more so you have to challenge yourself even better,” she added.
The 30-year old volleybelle is also known to be a fierce competitor among her peers. Fittingly so, this side of her clearly surfaced.
“Kudos to their team, but then again it’s a best-of-three series. Playoffs is not over yet. We have Monday to prove talaga who is the better team.”
When asked about how she intends to prepare her team in the do-or-die match on Monday at the PhilSports Arena, she quickly answered, “We go back to basics. That’s how we lost naman. It’s really fundamentals.”
Specifically, Soriano pointed out their lacklustre performance on the defensive end.
“We need to work a lot on our serve-receives. Clearly that was what was lacking,” she admitted. “We need work hard on our blocking, especially now that we are fielding Marciano even more.”
She further explained, “We are jumping high over the net, but we are not pressing our hands in. We were getting touches, but we weren’t controlling the ball as much.”
Despite the five-set loss of the Purest Water Defenders, the Cagayan Valley native said it is important for her squad to maintain good morale in the series. “It’s not over yet, so we should not let go of anything. We just fight till the end.”
Soriano, immediately after the loss, also told her players, “It’s best-of-three for a reason. Pocari is still not yet the best of this series. We still have the third game on Monday, and we have to keep our composure.”
The question now remains on whether she will play on the much-anticipated rubber match. However, the beach and indoor volleyball veteran explained how her responsibility as a head coach would require her to be on top of the substitutions and time outs throughout the match.
“I really believe in the team. I know they can do it.” She continued, “I believe in Mae Tajima. I believe in Mec Marciano. I believe in Kiwi Ahomiro. They can really handle the middle. It’s just that this time around, we didn’t see so much of the team work that we’re known for.”
Yet Soriano did not completely rule out the possibility of her entering the game, especially in crucial stretches. “Whatever it takes. We’ll do whatever it takes.”
On her thoughts about the brewing rivalry between the Purest Water Defenders and the Lady Spikers, whose key players came from UAAP rivals Ateneo Lady Eagles and De La Salle Lady Spikers, and their fan base reminiscent to what their collegiate teams have, Soriano emphasized that everything is good for the sport.
“We’ll show them even more beautiful volleyball on Monday. It’s good for the sport that this is happening. It is also good for the league.”