BALI Pure playing coach Charo Soriano admitted her talented team has a lot to work on after an eye-opening debut loss in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference.
The Purest Water Defenders started well against Air Force by capturing the first set, but the Jet Spikers gained momentum and capitalized on their opponent's poor execution to defeat the star-studded team, 23-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-16, on Monday at The Arena in San Juan.
Even with the team mostly composed of former Ateneo stars like Amy Ahomiro, Mae Tajima, Dzi Gervacio, Jem Ferrer, Ella de Jesus and Denden Lazaro, Soriano bared that they still need to improve on their on-court chemistry.
“We realized na we really have to commit to this and we really have to find a common time for training. ‘Yun ang talagang kailangan naming i-manage,” said Soriano.
“Kasi kahit we know each other off the court, kailangan ang jelling namin on the court mabalik namin. There’s a lot of time pa naman in the tournament, hopefully we get to improve our game,” she added.
The 30-year old middle blocker also revealed her struggles in getting her old form back, after spending more time in beach volleyball competitions. And she said it applies as well to her teammates, who have been busy with off-court commitments.
“Nakita niyo hirap na hirap po ako, wala pang timing. Nakakatalon po ako pero ang timing medyo mahirap,” said Soriano. “Although ‘yun nga marami naman kaming realizations na hindi naman kami nagpunta rito na nasa isip namin na laro lang.”
“So we really have to start to commit already to indoor volleyball. Lahat po kami may commitment na, ‘Tara laro tayo ng indoor,’” she added.
Soriano, who’s in her second coaching stint after she mentored Ateneo in the V-League Season 8 First Conference championship, is looking forward to the return of hard-hitting spikers Alyssa Valdez and Gretchel Soltones but she's tempering expectations until the two are back in training with the team.
The UAAP and NCAA MVP’s are currently in Europe for a series of volleyball exhibition matches.
“They’re gonna come back, I think, this week. They might play on Monday pero ‘yun nga kung kababalik lang nila, baka wala rin silang training,” said Soriano.
“Mahirap naman gaya kanina na isabak lang namin sila sa laro na hindi pa nagti-training, so we have to think about that, ‘yung condition nila,” she added.