There’s a GS Warrior in the Premier Volleyball League!
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 08, 2017 12:16 PM
Gyzelle Sy (right) and Pocari Sweat teammate Cai Nepomuceno jubilate after the Lady Warriors won a long rally here. (Photo by Arvin Lim)
Like Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry providing the spark in his team’s merciless domination of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the ongoing NBA finals, our very own GS Warrior in the Premier Volleyball League – that’s Lady Warrior Gyzelle Sy for you and me – is likewise calling the shots in Pocari Sweat’s stand in the semifinal playoff in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
Petite and light of feet, Sy, as has been her trademark game after game, relentlessly goes after the second balls wherever they may about to fall and convert them however far from the net into excellent sets for, say, American guest player Michelle Strizak, Myla Pablo or Cai Nepomuceno to pound on to the other side of the court.
Up by 1-0 in their best-of-three semifinal showdown with the Power Smashers, the Lady Warriors wasted a two-set advantage in Game 2 Tuesday to allow coach Nes Pamilar’s gritty charges to escape in another thrilling five-setter and force an extension of their separate chase for one of the two final slots in the opening tournament of the groundbreaking league, a joint project of Sports Vision in cooperation with Asics as official league partner and Mikasa as official game ball.
Sy, now 24, knows only full well what her role should be in Game 3 on Thursday, June 8, at Philsports Arena in Pasig City: set her attackers up for an efficient offensive that could send the Lady Warriors to their third straight final appearance since 2016.
“I know I have to give it my best shot ever,” says Sy, only child of a tricycle driver and a housewife in Noveleta, Cavite, in Filipino. “I am praying that our reception will go well, but I am prepared, as always, to run after hard second balls anyway and make excellent sets out of them as best as I can. We can’t fail our coach (Rommel Abella) and the management who have been giving us all the support we need.”
Always away from home
Sy, who was trained for no other position except as a setter, began competing for her school from Grade III when she was nine in Aguinaldo Elementary School in Kawit.
Lured by free education, free accommodations and bigger allowances for no other reason than to ease the financial burden of her parents, she later joined the high school team of San Antonio de Padua College in Pila, Laguna. It was to be the start of a life constantly lived away from her parents for Sy.
In all her four years with her new school, San Antonio de Padua ruled the Laguna provincial meets, enabling her a position in the regional delegation of Calabarzon for four stints in the Palarong Pambansa.
It was coach Pamilar himself, whose team the Lady Warriors are locked with in the extended battle in the PVL semifinals, who discovered her in one of those national student competitions in Tarlac and who eventually brought her to Far Eastern University. She played for three years under Pamilar before the latter left the FEU Lady Tamaraws.
“What I am now I owe greatly to coach Nes,” Sy declares in utmost gratitude.
Pocari coach Rommel Abella describes Sy as a “…cerebral player, one who in a matter of seconds studies the players’ positions of the opposing team first before she dishes out a set to her spiker.”
Never one to complain, Sy, Abella adds, always trains hard and directs plays according to instructions.
With the Lady Warriors for two straight years now, Sy says she has found a second family where everyone could share and bare all, her financial burdens and even a souring love life.
“Everyone on the team is ready to come to the other’s rescue. That’s what family does to its members.”
At this time of her life, perhaps Sy is in need of more friends to make her feel she’s one of the family. Her parents are now separated and she has opted to stay with her mother.
Though she admits that reconciliation between them isn’t bound to happen, it comforts her that her parents remain on speaking terms. They even come together to her games in the company of relatives.
Whenever she comes home to Noveleta, she brings groceries or some other pasalubong to her father.
She feels proud that she already began building her and her mom a new house though in stages in the family lot no larger than 40sq. m.