MANILA, Philippines – The addition of the squads from the Philippine Super Liga has drastically altered the landscape of the Premier Volleyball League. Superpowers like F2 Logistics, Cherry Tiggo and PLDT can crowd the usual PVL powers like Creamline, Choco Mucho and Petro Gazz.
The BaliPure Purest Water Defenders years ago were crowing Creamline and former PVL team Pocari Sweat. However, it is a new squad with a new look.
The desire to compete, however, remains.
While head coach Rommel Abella would like to shoot for a Final Four slot, the goal is to see progress from game to game.
“We have a different composition to the team,” said Abella, who won titles with Pocari Sweat in the old V-League and early PVL. “The plan is to build and work on it. If we need a couple of players more then we look for what we need. What we are doing is working on the now and eventually to see if what positions players we need. If we need to change.”
The Purest Water Defenders aren’t star-studded and loaded like in the past when they had Alyssa Valdez, Dzi Gervacio, Grethcel Soltones, Jerrili Malabanan and Faith Nisperos, to name but a few.
Those teams often made the semifinals and twice entered the finals, winning the 2017 Open Championship.
The current lineup lists Carlota Hernandez, Roselle Baliton, Patty Orendain, Gyra Barroga, Sati Espiritu, Shirley Salamagos, Laizah Bendong, Audrey Paran, Grazielle Bombita, and Alina Bicar among others.
Added BaliPure team manager Gil Cortez, “It is every team’s dream to build a strong and competitive team especially now the old PSL members are in the PVL. With the recruitment we did, we think meron ibubuga yung players namin. Ang ipanglalaban naminang defense. If we do that we might have a chance.”
“How we compete depends in our training and how we jell and develop chemistry,” further elucidated Cortez. “Hindi sila nandito or hindi namin sila kukunin kung walang skils or potential.It is a matter of guiding them. We have players who have a lot of positions and with that, more weapons. I think we will give a good fight.”
Middle Blocker Sati Espiritu believes that outside Barroga and Orendain, who have won championships, most have something to prove. “We will use this as motivation to push to the next level.