Runner-up finish an achievement for 'inexperienced' finalist BaliPure, says Gorayeb
The young BaliPure squad showed their inexperience in losing the do-or-die match for the PVL title against Pocari, but coach Roger Gorayeb sees a bright future for the Water Defenders. Dante Peralta

BALIPURE coach Roger Gorayeb remained satisfied with the campaign of the Water Defenders despite their runner-up finish in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.

The Water Defenders fell short in their first finals appearance, dropping a 20-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-19 decision to eventual champion Pocari Sweat in Game 3 of the Reinforced Conference best-of-three finals on Thursday.

Gorayeb said he is still happy with the performance of the Water Defenders for going this far.

"Oo, sobra na 'yan kasi in the first place, wala naman kaming two, three months preparation bago dito," Gorayeb said. "After Holy Week, one week before the competition, saka lang kami nagsama-sama. Tapos si Jerrili (Malabanan), mga two, three days bago mag-opening, saka namin nakasama."

"Talagang sobrang achievement na 'yung narating namin," said Gorayeb.

BaliPure topped the elimination round to gain an automatic berth to the finals but lost to a Pocari Sweat squad that went through the quarterfinals before winning the championship series.

The Water Defenders even had the upper hand in the Game 3 by winning the first set, but couldn't keep their lead in the match.

Having a young team, however, prevented BaliPure from finishing off an experienced Pocari Sweat squad that had power-hitter Krystal Rivers, Michelle Strizak, and Myla Pablo on the roster.

"Natalo kami. Ganun talaga, may nananalo, may natatalo. Pero sabi ko nga, dapat matuto. They are all young players. Lahat sila, collegiate players. Kailangang mag-mature sila in the future," said Gorayeb.

Gorayeb said the inexperience of the team definitely showed in the rubber match for the title.

"Lumabas lang 'yung pagkabata nila sa decision making. Nakakalungkot in the sense na hindi kami lumaban ng matindi. Pero okay lang, masaya ako para sa kanila," Gorayeb said.

Gorayeb added the runner-up finish will go a long way for BaliPure in the next conference, if they will be able to keep the team intact.

"Huwag nila masyadong isipin 'yung pagkatalo. Mahirap 'yung pinagdaanan nila pero sabi ko, be proud of your achievement. Isang hakbang na lang, nandun na kami. First time nila maglaro sa club competition. Si Grethcel lang (nakapaglaro sa club competition). Lahat bago."

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