Band of Sisters: Beleaguered Rebisco PSL-Manila hopes to prove critics wrong

UST-KAMENOGORSK, Kazakhstan — A newly recharged Rebisco PSL-Manila gears up for a tough game against Supreme of Thailand on Monday at the start of the classification phase of the Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championships here.

Game time is 2 p.m. (4 p.m. Manila time).

National team head coach Francis Vicente exhorted his wards to put the results of the group stage behind them and be motivated in putting up a gallant fight against the unbeaten Thai club.

“Let’s be motivated by those negative comments we get from people, let’s use it positively,” said Vicente in reference to the criticisms they got over the internet.

“We will fight. Be positive and optimistic.”

Led by superstar middle blocker Pleumjit Thinkaow, Thailand swept the Group A beating host Altay, Taiwan Power and Sarmayeh Bank of Iran.

The team had a bull session after its 25-8, 25-10, 25-9 beating from Tianjin Bohai Bank of China Saturday where players voiced out their thoughts and feelings.

Vicente said the 14 members of the Rebisco PSL Manila were low in spirits during the Tianjin match but lauded how the squad — made up of Philippine Superliga stars — banded together.

Sponsored by Asics, Grand Sport and Turkish Airlines, the Rebisco spikers held practice Sunday morning although it was rest day for this prestigious tourney among the eight top clubs in the region.

Team captain Rachel Anne Daquis, Aby Marano and Jovelyn Gonzaga also helped in giving pep talk to the members of the Rebisco club, most of them will form the national team to the the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Seniors.

“The reporters asked me why the team is always smiling and always celebrating our points,” said Daquis after getting interviewed by foreign press. “I told them that’s our nature. We always have positive aura.”

The Philippines, whose best finish here was seventh and with foreign reinforcements at that, will have three more games in a hope to duplicate its performance.