Jakarta Electric PLN came storming back from two sets down to beat city rival Popsivo Polwan 3-2 and clinch the women’s title in the Indonesian Professional Volleyball League on Sunday.
In the men’s division of the Proliga league, Palembang Bank Sumsel Babel became the first club from outside Java to win the championship when it beat Jakarta Sananta in five sets.
Electric PLN outlasted Popsivo 32-35, 19-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-7 in a match that lasted nearly two hours at Istora Senayan at the Bung Karno sports complex. It was the club’s third Proliga women’s title.
Electric PLN’s Chinese coach, Tian Mei, was given most of the credit by her players, who called her a “great motivator.”
“She kept our confidence level up in the first two sets. We were really down at that point,” captain Susanti Martalia said.
“She told us to forget about the pressure and believe in ourselves, because she believed in us. That really helped lift our spirits.”
Tian also guided Electric PLN to its first title in 2004, and she said “it felt like old times.” Electric PLN also won the Proliga women’s division in 2009.
“It was seven years ago when I last led this team to the title, but that winning feeling never grows old,” she said.
Popsivo, which was winless last year, fell one set short of completing one of the most remarkable single-season turnarounds in Proliga history.
After leading 2-0, Popsivo made a series of errors that coach Muhammad Anshori attributed to the players’ “overconfidence.”
“After the first two sets, we wanted to finish the match immediately so we lost our focus,” Anshori said.
On the men’s side, Bank Sumsel beat Sananta 16-25, 25-19, 25-15, 20-25, 15-11 to win its first title since joining the league in 2007.
“Teamwork had a lot to do with this victory,” Bank Sumsel captain Brian Alfianto said. “We played together, and we won together.”
Sananta star Koko Prasetyo Darkuncoro hurt his foot in the second set when a teammate landed on it. He was forced to leave the game, and Sananta coach Syaifullah acknowledged that Koko’s absence was a factor.
“We played well, but Bank Sumsel played better,” Syaifullah said. “We also weren’t lucky with the Koko injury.”