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Pablo surprised to be named MVP

SHOWN are the awardees in the Premier Volleyball League Open. From left: Air Force’s Iari Yongco, best opposite spiker; Creamline’s Jia Morado, best setter; BaliPure’s Risa Sato – 2nd best middle blocker; Pocari Sweat’s Myla Pablo, 1st best outside spiker and finals’ Most Valuable Player; Bali Pure’s Gretchel Soltones, 2nd best outside Spiker; Pocari Sweat’s Jeanette Panaga, 1st best middle blocker; and Pocari Sweat’s Melissa Gohing, best libero. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

SHOWN are the awardees in the Premier Volleyball League Open. From left: Air Force’s Iari Yongco, best opposite spiker; Creamline’s Jia Morado, best setter; BaliPure’s Risa Sato – 2nd best middle blocker; Pocari Sweat’s Myla Pablo, 1st best outside spiker and finals’ Most Valuable Player; Bali Pure’s Gretchel Soltones, 2nd best outside Spiker; Pocari Sweat’s Jeanette Panaga, 1st best middle blocker; and Pocari Sweat’s Melissa Gohing, best libero. (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

By JEROME LAGUNZAD

Pocari Sweat star spiker Myla Pablo admitted she was completely surprised when she finally hoisted the coveted Most Valuable Player plum in the 2017 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.

And she could not help but feel the same way why the Lady Warriors have been struggling to flash their usual groove against familiar nemesis, the BaliPure Water Defenders, in recent times, putting their bid for a golden season sweep in peril.

“Hindi ko maintindihan ang nangyayari sa amin ‘pag kalaban namin BaliPure,” said the 5-foot-9 Pablo after the Lady Warriors suffered a straight-sets 22-25, 19-25, 22-25 defeat – their second straight to the Water Defenders this conference – in the opener of their best-of-three titular showdown last Saturday night.

“Nawawalan kami ng receive. Nawawalan kami ng kumpiyansa sa sarili. Parang lagi kaming tulala, parang wala kami sa focus sa loob ng court,” she added, shaking her head in disbelief.

Also adjudged as the 1st Best Outside Spiker, the former National University standout was a shadow of her usual self as she could only come up with nine markers against BaliPure’s rock-solid net defense anchored by Aiko Urdas, Jerrili Malabanan and Risa Sato.

Their lousy reception also did the reigning PVL Reinforced Conference champions in, lamented Pablo, 23.

“Every time na kalaban namin ang BaliPure nawawalan kami ng receive. ‘Yung blocking hindi namin ma-maintain talaga,” she stressed. “Pero kapag sa training naman namin ang gaganda ng receive namin, blockings at ang ganda ng galaw namin. Pero sa game hindi namin na-a-apply.”

The Lady Warriors still have two more days to address the pressing issues ahead of Wednesday’s Game 2 and Pablo remains confident that they can extend the series – and their title hopes too.

“Normal po sa amin na lagi kami ang naghahabol,” said the proud Tarlac native. “Sabi nga ni coach Rico (De Guzman) na ‘yung bida, laging talo (sa umpisa) pero sa dulo ikaw ang panalo. Parang ‘yun na lang ang (iniisip namin).”

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