GRACE Bombita has signed a one-year contract with Motolite but she is ineligible to play in the semifinals round of the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference.
Bombita, the go-to spiker of BaliPure, surprisingly appeared in Motolite’s semifinals match against Creamline, wearing the team’s cap and shirt, on Saturday at the Arena in San Juan City.
However, she won’t be able to help Motolite, which is on the brink of elimination against Creamline in Game Two of their semifinals series on Sunday.
PVL president Ricky Palou said that Bombita didn’t get a release from BaliPure and the league doesn’t allow any player from an eliminated team to join and play a contending squad in the post-elimination round.
The Bicolana spiker didn’t bare when she signed with the new team and admitted that she has been in talks with Motolite before the Open Conference but decided to finish all 16 games with BaliPure before she started training with the Godfrey Okumu-coached squad.
“Totoo 'yun, before (the conference nagusap na kami). Pero sabi ko sa kanila, kay sir Jess (Montemar), tapusin ko lang 'tong laro namin. Bigyan niyo po ako ng time, which is naintindihan naman nila,” Bombita told reporters. “Actually nag start ako ng training sa kanila noong Monday. Medyo naging magulo pero hopefully, maging maayos din.”
BaliPure team manager Gil Cortez, recently cried foul on alleging that a rival ballclub had signed one of his top players — he refused to name — to a contract while the Open Conference is still ongoing.
Bombita, the Water Defenders top scorer and No. 5 in the league overall, averaging 14 markers per game, was remorseful for not telling her mother club since the Reinforced Conference.
“‘Di ko kasi talaga nasabi kaagad. 'Yun 'yung pinakamali ko doon, hindi ko siya nasabi kaagad,” said Bombita, who was in uniform in BaliPure’s last game of the conference but was not fielded in a three-set loss to Petro Gazz last week.
“Siguro lahat nabigla sa naging desisyon ko, actually naiintindihan naman nila 'yung naging desisyon ko, ng management pero hindi ko lang talaga sinabi kaagad,” she added.
Bombita admitted it wasn’t an easy decision to leave BaliPure, which gave her a break this year. She did it for her family.
“Mahirap siya, actually 'yung Bali Pure talaga 'yung nagbigay ng pagkakataon sa akin na makapaglaro talaga ulit dito sa PVL. Actually, pang apat na team 'yung pinagtry-out-an ko ang BaliPure,” said Bombita. “Sobrang thankful ako sa mga coaches and sa mga teammates ko. Naging part talaga sila ng journey ko. Sabi ko nga, habang buhay kong utang na loob 'yun sa kanila.”
“Inisip ko lang talaga yung pamilya ko at anak ko. Hindi naman siguro selfish kung pipiliin ko 'yung pamilya ko and 'yung anak ko,” she added.