Sat, 05 Mar 2005

Jakarta Electric loses in opening game

Moch. N. Kurniawan, The Jakarta Post/Jakarta

Women's defending champions Jakarta Electric PLN made a disappointing start in its title defense at the 2005 Proliga Volleyball championship on Friday.

The team -- with many players from last year's winning team missing this time round -- went down 2-3 (25-23, 19-25, 25-23, 20-25, 11-15) to Jakarta Monas Bank DKI.

Jakarta Electric made a perfect start in the first game thanks to a series of solid spikes from Brazilian star player Aline Pereira.

But the team went off the boil in the second game after leading 11-7. Jakarta Electric's players made too many unforced errors, often failing to return serve and sending their spikes out of bounds.

Jakarta Monas, through the efforts of Condace Magname of the U.S, seized the opportunity to win the second game.

In the third game, still relying on the one-woman-show of Pereira's prowess, Jakarta Electric found its rhythm once again to win.

The fourth game was a repeat of the second, with the errors coming fast and furious from Jakarta Electric.

They played a desperate game of catch-up in the decider, reaching 4-7 and 7-12, before finally letting the match slip away.

Jakarta Monas head coach Yopie H said the game hinged on the quality of the local players on his team.

"I think they have a good foreign player (Pereira), but she doesn't get support from her local teammates. If they had one or two good local players, they could win the match," he said at the postgame press conference.

Jakarta Electric head coach Victor Laiyan admitted that his team, with new players making up 60 percent of its ranks, was still erratic, but he praised the fighting spirit they showed.

"We played well today. Our local players have good fighting spirit, but they aren't mentally strong yet as most of them are new players."

Earlier in the day, women's club Jakarta BNI 46 defeated Yogya Tomkins 3-2 (21-15, 25-22, 25-10, 23-25, 15-10).

Jakarta is hosting the first group of Proliga games until Sunday. The series moves to Bandung on March 11-13, then returns to Jakarta (March 18-20), before heading to Gresik in East Java (April 8-10), Jakarta (April 15-17) and Yogyakarta (April 22-24).





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