Bali Pure were on the verge of winning their very first game in the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference, Saturday.
Having established a two-sets-to-none advantage over Motolite, the Water Defenders were in prime position to quench their then-seven game drought with a rousing sweep of fourth-seeded Motolite.
However, as the game went on, the Water Defenders slowly realized they were losing grasp of the breakthrough win they longed for. And to add salt into their wounds, the five-set loss to Motolite eliminated Bali Pure from the Final Four picture.
“Siguro naging complacent yung mga players kasi first time na nauna kami ng dalawang sets. Siguro yung morale nila mataas, tapos bigla noong naka-score ng sunud-sunod yung Motolite, sobrang na deflate yung morale ng mga bata,” Bali Pure head coach Rommel Abella lamented.
“Instead na sila [Motolite] yung ma-pressure, kami yung na-pressure para manalo.”
But beyond the wins, Abella and his Water Defenders are in it for the experience that the import-flavored conference has to offer.
“It goes to show na mahaba pa yung tatahakin ng team para maging competitive siguro at para umangat,” the multi-titled mentor, who won three titles with Pocari Sweat, confided. “Amin naman kasi ay yung development players as individuals and development ng players when it comes to team play and team effort namin.
“From the start naman, actually hindi naman kami mag aim mag-Final Four o mag-champion e. Nandito kami para makita natin yung development ng mga bata.”
Though they have dropped all of their eight outings, the Water Defenders – who are led by the troika of Grazielle Bombita, Danijela Djakovic, and Alexandra Vajdova – always made sure that the team will always bring the fight.
Furthermore, Bali Pure have been competing in a veteran-laden field with a relatively youthful supporting cast of local collegiate standouts in Carrie Pronuevo, Miracle Mendoza, Jela Pena, and Kat Racelis out of Mapua University; Sandy Delos Santos and Satrianni Espiritu of San Beda University; Menchie Tubiera and setter Necelle Gual from Perpetual Help; and Jewelle Bermillo of San Sebastian College.
Given this, Coach Abella is proud of the cohesion that his unit has built over the course of the tournament.
“Nabuo sila noong first two sets. Na maganda yung ginalaw nila though kahit nagkaka-error kami; mabilis namin nababawi… Nalalamangan kami ng tatlo, nababawian kaagad namin,” Abella opined, referring to his players’ performance against Motolite. “Yun ang magandang nakita ko but siguro bata pa sila as individuals and as a team.
“Tapos yung mga players natin, hindi naman sila yung mga marquee players na go-to players from their schools. So, yung team effort na lang talaga yung pino-point out lagi namin na we have to work as a team just to prove to everybody that we belong.”