THE Lady Warriors heaved a collective sigh of relief when it was confirmed American import Krystal Rivers has been cleared to play in the finals, and much of the pressure is now lifted off Myla Pablo’s shoulders.
All eyes have been on Pablo, Pocari Sweat’s top local player, ever since Bosnian import Edina Selimovic went down with a hamstring injury.
Pablo herself was nursing an injury but returned to action to help American import Michelle Strizak.
Now the Lady Warriors get a new reinforcement who is not only expected to deliver points, but has been an inspiration for the other players at practice.
“Oo naman malaking bagay, sobra,” said Pablo. “Kasi ‘yun nga, may katulong na naman kami ‘di ba?”
“Pag pumapalo talaga siya parang nacha-challenge kami lahat. Pag pumapalo siya, hala, kailangan ano tayo, mag-step up,” said Pablo.
“Sobrang lakas niya talaga, talon pa lang wala na ako panama.”
Rivers, a former University of Alabama standout , has been in the country for more than a week and finally got the go signal to play when Carlos Roberto de Assis, FIVB International Transfer Coordinator, sent the email to Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. confirming she is allowed to play.
Pocari Sweat, gunning for its third straight championship, begins the best-of-three title showdown with BaliPure on Saturday.
Rivers could have seen action for the first time with Pocari Sweat on Thursday after being told she has been cleared to play, but opted not to until she saw for herself the FIVB International Transfer Certificate.
The American reinforcement could not access the FIVB system before the Lady Warriors’ match against Power Smashers started.
The date and time shown on the FIVB email to the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. was 6:51 p.m. on June 8.
“Seeing that the FIVB VIS system has not solved the problem yet, the FIVB permits the player Krystal Rivers to play from now on,” said Carlos Roberto de Assis, FIVB International Transfer Coordinator.
Still, the Lady Warriors proved too strong for the Power Smashers, 25-19, 25-22, 25-21, securing a spot in the finals.