PVL: BanKo: No more heartbreak
Mark Escarlote on May 26, 2019 06:32 AM
We hope that we end in the championship round this year and maybe close it out and getting that gold -- Dzi Gervacio on BanKo's mindset
BanKo wants to put the pain of last year’s missed Finals opportunities behind with a fresh start in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference.
Fielding in an intact core and bringing a pair of high caliber imports, the Perlas Spikers aim to go higher after a couple of third place finishes last season.
“Noong 2018 super heartbreak parehas,” said seasoned hitter Dzi Gervacio. “Semifinals, went to Game 3 and then hindi nakapasok sa Finals.”
BanKo came a win shy of securing a spot in the Finals both in the Reinforced and Open conferences only to lose two straight to PayMaya and Ateneo de Manila University, respectively, in the best-of-three semis before eventually settling for bronze.
“We’re expecting this time we get to adjust, we have the same core and we have new players coming in,” added Gervacio.
Holdovers from last year’s lineup are Sue Roces, Mae Tajima, Ella De Jesus, Kathy Bersola, Nicole Tiamzon, Jem Ferrer, Gizelle Tan and Roma Doromal. The Perlas Spikers brought back Kia Bright with an new partner in towering Turkish import Yasemin Sahin Yildirim.
BanKo also tapped a young middle blocker in Far Eastern University’s Jeanette Villareal after the departure of Joy Dacoron.
“So far they’re (new players) jelling pretty well,” said Gervacio. “Kia’s more mature na this year and she’s trying to help out in talking to the other import, trying to understand what it is here playing as an import.”
BanKo also signed former Thai national team coach Apichat Kongsawat as mentor, replacing Dong Dela Cruz.
Gervacio sees the return of Bright as an advantage compared to other teams with new imports still adjusting to their respective systems.
“If there’s one thing that our new coach will tell us, that’s communication. I think that’s one that she (Bright) has with us now because before medyo her walls are kind of up pa. Now she’s trying to communicate with her teammates and her setter. She’s more open to everyone,” said Gervacio of Bright, who averaged 20.4 points per game last year in her first pro stint.
BanKo right now is brimming with confidence as the Perlas Spikers look to finally step into the biggest stage and hopefully capture the elusive crown.
“We hope that we end in the championship round this year and maybe close it out and getting that gold,” said Gervacio. “Now we have the right ingredients this season and I have we can achieve our goal.”
BanKo will make its debut on Wednesday against PetroGazz.
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