PVL: Fighting Warays almost didnít make it to the starting line
ABS-CBN Sports on May 13, 2018 02:27 PM
The Tacloban Fighting Warays split their first two games in the ongoing second season of the Premier Volleyball League, losing to PayMaya in four sets and outlasting BaliPure in five.
A good two weeks before the Reinforced Conference of the Premier Volleyball League rolled along, Coach Nes Pamilar and his players were not sure whether they were participating or not.
Best remembered for giving Far Eastern University its last championship in UAAP women’s volleyball, Pamilar was on pins and needles for not hearing from his team’s supposedly original sponsor that close to the PVL opening. He had no other recourse but to start scouting for another backer.
An influential sportsman from Tacloban, who wished not to be identified, made contact and paved the way for the sponsorship of Chooks to Go for the team that is now known as the Tacloban Fighting Warays.
At the eleventh hour, three more backers landed on Pamilar’s lap. These are, he said, 838, a volleyball center, Melmac and Gold’s Gym, raising the Warays’ total number of sponsors to four.
To be fair, that sponsor Pamilar had first talked to got back to him but it was too late.
“We have already secured an official commitment from another backer by then. Let it go on record, though, that we greatly appreciate that the supposed original sponsor had reached out to us again even if it was already too late,” he said.
Making up the Tacloban roster are the nucleus of the Arellano University crew that reigned supreme in the last NCAA season, two key recruits each from losing UAAP finalist FEU Lady Tamaraws (Kyle Negrito and Heather Guino-o) and the vastly-improved University of the East Lady Warriors (Judith Abil and Seth Rodriguez), and two reinforcements from Thailand (Amporn Hyapha and Sasiwimol Sangpan) who have long considered the Pamilars their second family away from home.
The inclusion of NCAA MVP Shola Alvarez of Jose Rizal University, ageless Bangladesh Pantaleon, the only player in the PVL cast who competed for Letran in the very first staging of the Sports Vision-organized V League in 2004, and San Sebastian’s top setter Vira Guillema make the lineup an interesting mix.
This marks the first time for Negrito to play for a club team, and the first time for Abil and Rodriguez to play outside UE.
Jovie Prado, who played a pivotal role as Arellano U reclaimed the NCAA title last season, led the Warays’ production with 12 points in an 8-25, 31-33, 20-25 losing stand against PayMaya, formerly PLDT, and struck for 18 behind teammate Hyapha’s top-scoring 23 in Tacloban’s bounce-back victory against PetroGazz Angels, 25-17, 27-25, 21-25, 14-25, 15-13.
The other Lady Chiefs on Pamilar’s side are middle blockers Mary Anne Esguerra and Andrea Marzan, Regine Arocha and libero Jan Eunice Shayne Galang.