Ukrainian import Nyukhalova calls for girl bonding time to improve PSL Manila chemistry
Ukrainian opposite spiker Yevgeniya Nyukhalova said the PSL Manila team needs to work on being more cohesive on and off the court. Jaime Campos

THE PSL Manila team is working on team chemistry in mixing its early morning training with some rest and relaxation before seeing action in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena from October 18 to 23.

On the ninth day of rigorous training and less than a month before the international competition, head coach Moro Branislav and Ukrainian import Yevgeniya Nyukhalova both agreed that the team needs to be more cohesive on and off the court.

PSL Manila, composed of skipper Rachel Anne Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga of RC Cola Army, Frances Molina and Jen Reyes of Petron, Mika Reyes and Kim Fajardo of F2 Logistics and Jaja Santiago of Foton along with the seven imports Ekaterina Krivets of Russia, Lynda Morales of Puerto Rico, Yuri Fukuda of Japan, Stephanie Niemer and Lindsay Stalzer of the United States, Tichaya Boonlert of Thailand and Nyukhalova, hopes to do just that.

The Ukrainian opposite spiker, who has played twice in the WCWC, believes that there’s no better way to jell than some girl bonding.

“I think, first, we need to work on the court and, second, to communicate after to understand to work together, like which ball the attack likes from the setter because the connection is important,” she said.

“I think we need some time to be friends, to have this good atmosphere on the court and to have fun,” she added. “That's what I think, we need to have bonding outside the game because everyone speaks English and all the seven imports are interested in the Philippine culture. I will propose that we should go out.”

The team has been hardly complete due to the locals’ preparation for the Philippine Super Liga Grand prix, which kicks off on October 8. But for the first time on Tuesday, all the 14 players were present during training.


“Today in the morning we are 14, we are complete and it was good, I saw a 100 percent effort from my teammates. We practiced for three hours but it's hard because I think we need more time to become a team,” Nyukhalova said Tuesday, where Japanese assistant coach Shun Takahashi focused on setters Fajardo and Boonlert.

“It's a little bit hard because we don't feel each other, the setter don't feel the attackers, we don't feel the setter but now that we are complete we'll see,” said Nyukhalova. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinspin