BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — After suffering three quick losses in its Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, Black Mamba-Army is now fighting for pride and honor.
And pride was definitely in full display on Thursday night as the Lady Troopers came back from a set down to topple the PLDT Power Hitters, 20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-20, at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center here.
“Kasi ang sinisigaw kanina ni coach (Kungfu Reyes) ‘Pride’ eh. Nandiyan na eh, ang layo na ng nilalaro namin.
“Alam mo ‘yung may mga veterans na din kami na nakapaglaro sa national team. Parang ‘yun na lang ‘yung pride na maibibigay mo sa sarili mo, at the same time sa nakalagay sa harapan mo,” said the two-time V-League Conference MVP.
“Tutukod at tutukod talaga, mapapagod at mapapagod talaga. So pinag-uusapan namin ‘yun, and thankful kami sa second six namin kanina na nag-step up din talaga nung pinasok ni coach Kungfu. So andito na kami. No excuses, no room for excuses,” she added.
Gonzaga showed pure grit against the young PLDT, firing 17 points and collecting nine excellent receptions. With that, she helped give the Lady Troopers their second win of the season.
According to Gonzaga, the team had a heart-to-heart meeting this past week to address their three losses to start the PVL season.
Obviously, the entire team responded well with the conversation. All 10 of the players inserted — excluding the liberos, of course — scored at least a point in the four-set match.
“Ang daming nangyari these past days. Siyempre sinasabi nila aging na ‘yung team,” shared the 29-year-old Army sergeant.
“Pero nakakatuwa kasi after nung sunod-sunod na talo namin, nag-usap-usap talaga kaming team para masolusyunan kung ano ‘man ‘yung mga lapses namin. And thankful kami kasi nakita namin na lumabas ‘yung adjustments namin dito sa loob ng game ngayon.
“Nakakatuwa kasi lagi kaming nagmamadali everytime eh, parang nape-pressure. So kanina sinimulan muna namin sa sarili namin. Siyempre thankful din kami sa tiwala ng coaching staff namin, lalo na ‘yung adjustment nila na hinayaan nila kaming lumaro at dumiskarte. So isa ‘yun siguro sa nagpa-boost ng morale rin talaga namin, na naigalaw namin ‘yung ilalaro namin talaga. And credits sa bawat isa na sobrang nag-step up during this game,” she continued.
Now armed with the right mindset, Black Mamba-Army is looking at the schedule one game at a time as they vie for one of the four spots in the playoffs.