Four Lady Bulldogs hope BaliPure stint will help them return NU to UAAP Final Four
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 07, 2017 06:57 PM
Beaten by the Pocari Sweat imports in the PVL Reinforced Conference finals, the BaliPure Purest Water Defenders will attempt to get back at the Lady Warriors in the Second Open Conference. Also in photo is coach Roger Gorayeb (standing, second from right) and team consultant Gil Cortez (extreme left). (Photo by Eileen Kathryn Araza)
Four of the National Lady Bulldogs’ usual starters – setter Jasmin Nabor, Aiko Sweet Urdas, Risa Sato and Jorelle Singh – have returned to the BaliPure Purest Water Defenders in the Premier Volleyball League Second Open Conference with the same goal in mind.
That is, to use it as one final major training before they go back to the NU Lady Bulldogs to concentrate on their preparation for the next UAAP volleyball season which starts January.
Urdas, fully recovered from her ACL surgery, says in Filipino she will be going into her fifth and final year in the UAAP more confident and more prepared than ever.
“My experience with BaliPure in the PVL has helped me regain my confidence and my top form. I can now stretch myself to the limit without fear of reinjuring myself. I hope to do well for NU in the UAAP. I hope we make the Final Four again.”
The marketing graduate is now seen jumping at her highest, setting her up for accurate and deep kills.
“I am not bothered anymore by such thoughts as getting injured again.”
The jolly Singh, who is seen choreographing cheer dance moves among teammates in the pen when not playing, thanks her PVL experience for hastening her maturity on the court. She especially cited playing against tough and taller imports in the Reinforced Conference as a big help.
“I have had my taste of international volleyball when I played against the foreign guest players. It helped me improve vastly.”
Particularly for Nabor and Sato, a middle attacker, the change in their games brought about by their participation in the PVL, a joint undertaking of Sports Vision as organizer, Asics as official league partner and Mikasa as official game ball, is more telling.
It is a known fact that the rise and fall of a middle spiker hinge on the skills of her setter, Nabor’s for Sato in this case.
The two connect and understand each other more easily than before without talking. By signals and eye contact they plan and execute a play as if they had planned it for a long time.
Nowhere was this more evident than in BaliPure’s first game against the Power Smashers. Sato, helped by Nabor’s excellent sets, dazzled with 18 points mostly on blinding-quick plays.
Led by V League and NCAA MVP Grethcel Soltones and the wonderful Jerrili Malabanan, another loan-out from Far Eastern University, the BaliPure Water Defenders are also considered a title favorite.
“I think we also have the edge in terms of local talents,” BaliPure team consultant Gil Cortez said in an earlier interview. He was straightforward in saying that they were beaten by the imports for the title in the Reinforced Conference finals.
Also playing for the Water Defenders are Abigail Noval, Lizlee Ann Pantone, Macy Mendiola, Iris Oliveros, and Alyssa Eroa.