May maibubuga pa siya -- Abella on 'super import' Rivers

Mark Escarlote on Jun 11, 2017 03:28 AM
May maibubuga pa siya -- Abella on 'super import' Rivers
Actually hindi pa kami masyado na-impress sa (performance) ni Krystal kasi based doon sa pina-practice niya sa amin. May alam kami na may maibubuga pa siya -- Pocari coach Rommel Abella on American import Krystal Rivers

American import Krystal Rivers had an impressive debut for Pocari Sweat.

The 5-foot-11 opposite spiker dropped 20 points in the Lady Warriors, 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 26-24, win over BaliPure to open their Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference best-of-three Finals series Saturday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

But head coach Rommel Abella felt that that there was still something missing in the power-hitter’s game.   

“Actually hindi pa kami masyado na-impress sa (performance) ni Krystal kasi based doon sa pina-practice niya sa amin,” said Abella of the replacement import that had to wait for two weeks to get a clearance to see action. "May alam kami na may maibubuga pa siya."

The mentor expects more from her on Tuesday when the Lady Warriors try to close out the series.

“We are expecting a few more surprises coming from her on the second game,” he said.

Rivers, a prolific scorer who played for Alabama in the US NCAA, took some time to settle in her first game since receiving the FIVB confirmation to play last Thursday.

The guest player, who replaced injured Bosnian import Edina Selimovic (right hamstring tear), started out a little flat committing three straight errors before scoring her first point – an attack that tied the opening set at 16. She eventually closed the first set with just two points and a couple more errors.

“It was pretty awesome (to finally be able play here). It was my first time playing here in a professional match. It took some time for me before I settled in,” said Rivers, who had a 17 attack points on 44 attempts. “But once I did it was a lot of fun.”

Rivers admitted that she needed a little more time to adjust with the Pocari Sweat’s system during the match.

“It’s always tough to come in especially in the end of the season and adjusting to the team,” Rivers said. “But the team was just great, giving me positive energy and just allowed myself to settle in and focus on my game and play volleyball.”

“The energy of the fans is amazing. I’ve been here for two weeks and I’ve seen how excited the fans are for me,” she added. “It was great to see how they’re excited not only for me but for the team as well It just took a little bit for me to settle in, playing in this stage.”

Rivers played her best run of the match in the third set, leading the Lady Warriors’ assault to turn an 11-12 deficit to an 18-12 cushion. The Water Defenders counterattacked to close the gap, 24-22, but Rivers pounded an off the block kill to give Pocari Sweat a 2-1 match lead.

When the Water Defenders threatened to send the match to a decider after erasing an 8-15 deficit and taking a 24-22 lead, Rivers was there to score the equalizer from a kill block on BaliPure’s Thai import Jeng Bualee. 

Asked about her personal assessment of her performance, Rivers thought she did well.

“Any time I can score any amount of points for my team it’s always a good day,” she said.



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