BALIPURE-National University scored its first victory and sent Petro Gazz to its third loss in as many matches, 22-25, 25-23, 28-26, 22-25, 15-12, on Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
American import Janisa Johnson debuted in the league with 31 points, from 27 kills and four service aces for the Water Defenders, who bounced back from a loss to Iriga-Navy and evened their record, 1-1.
Former two-time UAAP juniors MVP Princess Robles and American reinforcement Alexis Matthews also had 17 and and 15 markers, respectively.
“Going back, when the idea of having pro players mixed up with high school, on my side I really am also… I don’t know how are they gonna respond,” said BaliPure-NU coach Babes Castillo.
“But I’m so happy, I really appreciate it that during practice they also like the idea” he added.
The out-spoken mentor stressed that his doubts from the beginning turned into something more than what he expected.
“They’re (pro players) playing the role of ates, not moms. What you don’t see in training is there’s a lot of feedback going back and forth,” he said.
“More than the win that’s one thing that I would appreciate my girls can take it. Quite a unique experience for my girls,” he added.
Castillo is hoping that they can sustain the momentum especially when they face Tacloban on Saturday in Batangas.
Ukrainian import Anastasiia Trach and Bosnian reinforcement Kadi Kullerkann led the way for Petro Gazz with 22 and 21 points, respectively.