Team Bali Pure: We need to get better in a hurry
by rick olivares
Big names don’t mean much unless team chemistry and match fitness come to fore.
Team Bali Pure with its bevy of former Ateneo Lady Eagles stars with choice additions from San Beda and San Sebastian lost in four sets (25-23, 14-25, 25-19, 25-16) to Philippine Air Force in their Shakey’s V-League Open Conference debut last Monday, May 30.
The reunion of players who suited up for Ateneo from 2003-16 is a serendipitous moment. Even with several names still unavailable due to other commitments, the smiles and geek out moments were there in spite of the loss.
“We need to work on our team chemistry and fitness,” succinctly put in Bali Pure head coach Charo Soriano. “For me, it is also getting out of beach volleyball mode. I found myself still moving like a beach volleyball player. Haven’t really played indoor volleyball in a while. And we were only formed about a week ago. We need more practice time, competitive games, and workouts. Unfortunately, we will have to do this on the fly. But that is not an excuse. We need to work on a lot of things.”
“We beat Air Force in a tune up match,” added Dzi Gervacio who was one of the more consistent performers on Bali Pure along with Amy Ahomiro, Ella De Jesus, and Denden Lazaro who split time at the libero position with Alyssa Eroa. “But it is different when it’s a really competitive match in a real tournament. We have our work cut out for us.”
“I think it was cool to be with everyone,” enthused Lazaro. “I didn’t get to play with Charo and Karla (Bello) in the UAAP. When they graduated, the Fab Five entered, with me and Ella joining two years later. It was cool."
Bali Pure was leading in the first set before a spate of errors saw them go down. They played better in the second set to level the match. However, come the third set, aside from the outstanding serves of Air Force’s Dell Palomata, Bali Pure just looked too chill. By the time the had their game faces on, they were down 7-1. The six-point difference was maintained by PAF until set’s end.
“We fixed our schedules only today,” revealed Lazaro after the match. She is currently taking summer classes at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health. “We’ll be better for this.”
“I don’t think it is right for us to say that we’re missing Alyssa (Valdez) and Grethcel (Soltones). We have a lot of people to get the job done,” added Soriano.
Janina Marciano, who starred for San Beda in college said that while she had fun playing with her new teammates, the match against Air Force was her first with the team. “I was excited to play alongside these girls. This game, unfortunately, was my first with them. So it was obvious we need to work on our chemistry. But we’ll be back.”
Balu Pure’s next match is against National University on Monday, June 6, 2016, at 6pm at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.