PVL: Ateneo-Motolite rookie Gandler is playing like a veteran
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 09, 2018 03:11 PM
Oh they still meditate in between sets and play happy throughout, obvious influences of their previous mentor, but members of the Ateneo-Motolite squad are one in saying they are thriving as well, if not more so, under the new system brought in by new coach Oliver Almadro.
Volleyball aficionados have been talking much about the 17-year-old, five-foot-nine Vanessa Gandler, a recruit from La Salle-Zobel, ever since she took the floor with the rest of the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles in their opening game in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
A somewhat dainty spiker, if ever there was one, during her last playing year in the UAAP high school volleyball tournament in 2017, the Fil-Austrian Gandler has evolved into an aggressive attacker, striking for nine points against Pocari-Air Force and 15 against PetroGazz in back-to-back opening wins by her new team.
She has a simple explanation for her transformation: “I trust my coach, his system, and my teammates who keep pushing me to be better.”
Coach Oliver Almadro said Gandler has talent that enables her to quickly keep up with her veteran teammates.
Trainer Vince Mangulabnan described her as “masunurin sa coach at matapang sa laro.”
A long-standing patron of motor sports, boxing, billiards and basketball, Motolite’s partnership with the Ateneo women’s volleyball team was initiated by Sports Vision president Ricky Palou, according to Mike T. Villanueva, head of Motolite’s marketing department.
“This has been the perfect time for us to get involved in volleyball as well,” said Villanueva. “And the partnership between the nation’s market leader in automotive batteries and Ateneo’s renowned volleyball program seems to be a fitting match.”
Making up the Ateneo-Motolite lineup are Dani Ravena, Deana Wong, Julianne Samonte, Vanessa Gandler, Janel Maraguinot, Madeleine Madayag, Isabela Peralta, Pauline Gaston, Kat Tolentino, Erika Raagas, Bea de Leon, Kassandra Gequillana, Samantha Fanger and Jaycell Ann delos Reyes.