Despite playing out of contention, Grace Bombita still delivered for the Balipure Water Defenders as they escaped the Chef’s Classics Lady Red Spikers in five sets, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, 17-25, 17-15, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Balipure maintained focus of ending their six-game losing slump despite both teams playing in a non-bearing game because of their low standings.
The Water Defenders saw trouble in the decider as the Lady Red Spikers held the lead, 6-10, until injured setter Vira Guillema came in for Balipure to anchor her squad’s 8-3 run to take match point, 14-13.
While team captain Justine Tiu scored two straight points for Chef’s Classics to land their own match point, the Water Defenders hung on as they clinched three straight points to snatch the win.
Bombita spearheaded Balipure’s winning effort anew as she dropped 27 points, while Menchie Tubiera and Satriani Espiritu added 15 each.
Despite a four-point deficit in the fifth set which could have cost them the game, Bombita told her squad to trust each other and show character to take the victory.
“Sinasabi lang po namin na, paulit-ulit, kailangan lang naming magtiwala at maging matapang. Although ganoon kalayo ‘yung score namin, pero hindi namin kailangang bitawan. Ilalaban talaga namin,” the team captain said.
She also credited her teammates who helped her in scoring duties and gave her confidence to rake points for the squad.
“Sa akin naman, malaki naman ‘yung tiwala ko sa teammates ko. Tulad ng sinasabi ko sa kanila, minsan kasi sila din ‘yung nagsasabi na, “ate kaya mo yan”. Kaya nilang pumuntos—kailangan lang naming magtulong-tulong para maka-score kami,” Bombita said.
With the win, Balipure improved their record to 3-10, while Chef’s Classics remain winless with a 0-13 card.
While basically out of Final Four contention, head coach Rommel Abella wants the Water Defenders to treat their remaining games not as potential spoilers for other teams vying for semifinal slots, but as confidence boosters given their youth in the league.
“Actually, hindi spoiler e, but para sa team namin. Since bago nabuo ‘tong team, pangalawang conference ‘to, ‘yung identity namin kailangang mabuo namin,” Abella said.“Mas magandang tignan na manalo ka–siyempre bonus na lang kung sinong ma-spoil mo, pero hindi iyon ‘yung mindset namin,” he added.
Balipure looks to bag their fourth win of the tournament as they face the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers on their next game.