BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — Gyra Barroga delivered four consecutive booming aces in the fourth set to help BaliPure fend off Cignal at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center on Sunday night.
All that, according to Barroga, was the fruit of her hard work during the off-season. She spent time training relentlessly with her dad, Edgar — who, coincidentally, was the previous head coach of the HD Spikers.
“Actually, inisip ko lang ‘yung una ‘yung pinapa-target ni coach [Rommel Abella] sa akin na ipasok ko lang,” said Barroga, who was adjudged player of the game in BaliPure’s 21-25, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 win over Cignal.
“Iniisip ko rin ‘yung naging training ko sa bahay sa quarantine with me and my dad. Sabi niya sakin ‘pag ganun, ipasok ko lang and target ako; ‘wag ko masyado lakasan. ‘Wag ako manggigil and always have the presence of mind.”
Up by just one in the fourth frame, the product of La Salle unleashed four conversions from the service line. That then gave BaliPure a comfortable 9-4 cushion.
That made the difference since Cignal could not overcome the advantage, giving the Water Defenders their second straight win in three outings.
When the dust settled, the 5-foot-10 opposite hitter ended up with 12 points — including nine from the service line.
It was a huge win for BaliPure, which was coming off a huge upset of Chery Tiggo. They forged a three-way tie with Petro Gazz and Chery Tiggo at the third spot with identical 2-1 cards.
“Sa confidence-wise, very important siya kasi nagkakumpiyansa kami. And parang nakilala pa namin ‘yung sarili namin na very clutch ‘yung team namin,” said Barroga.
“Very thankful kami kasi after ng win namin, sila coach din sabi sa’min na, ‘Guys, don’t be overconfident. This is just our first game, our first win.’ Oo, top caliber ‘yung nanalo tayo pero isipin natin na isang panalo pa lang. So let’s not be over complacent para magtuloy-tuloy ‘yung magandang galaw namin.”