BANKO officials kept mum on the decision to play imports Kia Bright and Yasemin Yildirim sparingly in a four-set loss to Petro Gazz on Wednesday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Reinforced Conference at the Arena in San Juan City.
Perlas Spikers’ returning American import Bright, surprisingly, didn’t start and only saw action in the first two sets, finishing with one point. Yildirim was in and out of the game in all four sets and finished with three points.
Team officials said the benching was the decision of Thai head coach Apichat Kongsawat.
“It’s a coach and management decision e,” said BanKo skipper Nicole Tiamzon after scoring 20 points in the loss.
“Kung ano man ang decision ng coaches namin, kailangan na lang namin mag-adjust and kita natin kanina yung pag-step up ng mga Filipino players.”
Both imports were the first to leave the dugout after the defeat.
Despite absorbing back-to-back losses, Tiamzon was still glad to see Banko locals pull together and put up a gallant stand that saw them win the third set, ending Petro Gazz's run of 17 straight sets won.
“You feel the accountability na wala yung import, ikaw yung pinasok so perform ka talaga,” she said. “Teamwork pa rin kahit ano mangyari kasi kami-kami rin naman. Team naman kami hindi naman kami individual players.”
Now just half a game ahead of fifth-placer Motolite (1-4), the BanKo team captain said team morale is not down.
“It’s okay,” she said. “Importante naman bawat game may natututunan and you know sa sarili mo pati sa team na nagi-improve kayo game by game.”