A FLORIDIAN, Kia Bright thought that the weather would be the least of her concerns when she made the trip to the Philippines, but soon found out it would be a bit of a struggle.
“It’s really the heat,” said Bright on Saturday after BanKo Perlas’ match at at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“It’s the Sunshine State, so that’s why I thought I was gonna be okay when they said it’s hot. But then I came here, and I’m like dying.”
“I’m not used to practicing or playing in the heat. It’s one thing to walk to my car, but to have to play and compete in a high level in the heat, it’s challenging,” she said.
But rather than falter on these tough conditions, Bright sees this as a challenge which could only make her better in the long run.
“I’m still playing somewhat uncomfortable, but I’ve accepted that. I just realized that it’s not gonna get easier so I have to find ways to be successful in these conditions or with this discomfort,” she said. “I’m just trying to use it as a way to strengthen me. It pushes me to my limit, like questioning myself on how dedicated I am. It makes me a better, well-rounded player.”
Despite the discomfort, Bright has been nothing but stellar for BanKo-Perlas in its campaign in the 2018 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Women’s Division.
On Saturday, the open hitter unleashed 19 points, 17 off kills, as the Perlas Spikers improved to 2-0 with a win over Pocari-Air Force, boosting their bod for the semifinals.
For Bright, credit should be given to her better connection with BanKo-Perlas’ setter Jem Ferrer.
“Definitely, the connection with the setter makes a huge difference. At the same time, just understanding that it’s still our job to make the best of each ball. I feel now, we’re making ways to just try to better each touch every chance we get,” she said.
Bright looks at the Perlas Spikers’ win over the Lady Warriors as a rallying point for the team as they have their sights set on clinching a semifinals seat.
“I think that game was huge. I think that it showed our perseverance, toughing it out after being down in the third set,” she said as BanKo-Perlas fought from a 20-13 deficit in the third set to lock down the straight-set win.
“The way we banded together and never gave up, that’s huge. Pocari is a strong team, they did not roll over, they did not give us easy points. But we earned that game. I have so much respect for Pocari as a team, but my teammates continue to grow each game and that amazes me.”