AMANDA Villanueva stepped up when it mattered most to help BanKo clinched a semifinals berth in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference.
With Nicole Tiamzon out due to a bruised right middle finger and the Perlas Spikers in a must win situation for the semis ticket, Villanueva powered BanKo with 22 points to torch Pocari Sweat-Air Force, 27-25, 19-25, 25-16, 25-20, on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
Coming off a sorry loss to Petro Gazz last Sunday, Villanueva said that they were really eager to bounce back and get the job done this time to seal the semifinals ticket.
“For me kasi nag-focus lang talaga ako. This was our key to get into the Final Four,” said the wing spiker, who finished with 17 spikes, three service aces and a pair of blocks including 15 excellent receptions. “It was a big game for us, knowing na natalo kami last time na we had a bad game, a bad day. It's just a bad game, not a bad season. We knew na we had a chance.”
The former Adamson star admitted that filling in the big shoes of Tiamzon was not easy but she didn’t back down from the huge responsibility.
“It was challenging lang because she's one of our franchise players. Filling in her position is a big challenge for me,” Villanueva said. “Kailangan magampanan ko 'yung mga iniwan niyang responsibilities or more. I can't be anything less. Sa akin binigay, so dapat ko gampanan.”
“Iniisip ko lang lagi to play my game and not think about their game or 'yung naco-contribute nila. I have to contribute what I can for the team,” she added.
Now with an improved 9-3 win-loss record and an assured semis spot, BanKo will play its last elimination game against Creamline this Saturday in Cagayan De Oro.
Villanueva said she is ready for another big game.
“Ready lang ako, regardless kung magstart ako. It's big game for us as a team, hindi lang inidividually,” she said. “Malaki 'yung chance na makalaban namin sila for semis eh, so kailangan ma-build na namin confidence namin.”