Cohesive BanKo Perlas advances to Final Four
As the BanKo Perlas Spikers strung up seven straight victories, they readily attributed their success to better communication and teamwork, which allowed them to clinch a spot in the Final Four in the 2018 Premiere Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.
They will need more of it as they face strong teams in the semis, which, until last week, seemed like a dream when the Perlas Spikers suffered four straight losses after winning their opening game. The team was then groping for form and consistency as they tried to jell with the highly-touted imports.
“We lacked communication in our previous games, and that’s why we had difficulties in closing out sets and matches in the past,” said coach Ariel dela Cruz. “This was one of the things we worked on.” He said the players now know what they are capable of inside the court.
The Perlas Spikers have also begun to draw strength from each other. “The trust and confidence of everyone in the team is important,” dela Cruz said. “We worked on the leadership aspect. All the players must act as leaders, not only the team captain and the imports.”
Imports Kia Bright and Jutarat Montripila are among the top performing imports in the PVL Reinforced Conference, and they are blending well with the locals led by captain Sue Roces, Mae Tajima, Giselle Tan, Ella de Jesus, Amanda Villanueva, Joy Dacoron, Jem Ferrer, Amy Ahomiro, Fhen Emnas, Dzi Gervacio, Sasa Devanadera, and Nicole Tiamzon.
Bright acknowledged the improvement of the team. “We just bonded more than ever and we just stick together,” she said, adding that her teammates are making her look good.
“Honestly it’s not from me, it’s from my teammates. My goal is to try to find ways to motivate them to play their best,” she said. “No matter how hard I play or how many points I make, I still need my teammates. I realized that that really pumps them up and fires them up so I try to go the extra mile.”
The Perlas Spikers now face the PayMaya High Flyers in the semifinals and will try to overcome their opponents in the best-of-three games. The good news is that the Spikers have beaten the High Flyers in the elimination round.
“If we continue to do our best, trust and talk with each other, we should do well,” said coach dela Cruz. “We have already reached the target that we set at the start of the conference. But we have the opportunity to go further. So we will try to go for it.”
“Communication is so important to success in both business and sports,” said BanKo president Jerome Minglana. “Our BanKo Perlas team seems to be finally jelling together inside the court. We are thrilled over their wins and are happy to see them give their best. Now that they have made the semis, we hope we can carry this momentum all the way to the finals.”