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By Brian Yalung
The BaliPure Purest Water Defenders capped their stint in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open conference on a high note, defeating the Perlas Spikers in three sets at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021.
It was a fitting final game for BaliPure who also capped a five-game losing streak. They ended the tournament with a 3-6 record.
It will be back to the drawing board for the Purest Water Defenders as they prepare for the next conference. As of this writing, there is no official word on what the PVL will stage the next one.
Regardless, BaliPure team manager Gil Cortez is expected to sit down with head coach Rommel Abella to assess and determine what improvements are needed moving forward.
Although they failed to make it to the semifinals, there is no denying that BaliPure has been a breeding ground for good talent. Most saw the never-say-die attitude of the players, a reason why plenty of attention was given to players like Graze Bombita, Alina Bicar, Gyra Barroga, Bern Flora, Geneveve Casugod, Sati Espiritu, Shirley Salamagos, Carlotta Hernandez and Julia Angeles among others.
But even before these talented volleybelles, BaliPure had at one time been home to some players who have made their mark on opposing PVL teams.
18 players previously suited up for the Water Defenders that saw action for the different teams in the 2021 PVL Open Conference.
That list includes Grethcel “Lady Beast” Soltones and Jerrili Malabanan of Petro Gazz, Alyssa Eroa, Jorelle Singh, Aiko Seet Urdas, Vira May Guillema of PLDT, Jasmine Nabor of Chery Tiggo, Janine Marciano and Roselyn Doria of the Cignal HD Spikers.
There is also Jem Ferrer, Sue Roces and Gel Cayuna of the Perlas Spikers, Amy Ahomiro of Sta. Lucia Reatly, Denden Lazaro-Revilla of Choc Mucho, Audrey Paran of Army Black Mamba and the trio of Alyssa Valdez, Risa Sato and Ella De Jesus of Creamline.
Heading into the semifinals, Valdez, Sato and De Jesus will continue to play on for the Cool Smashers, Nabor for the Crossovers, Lazaro-Revilla for Flying Titans and the duo of Soltones and Malabanan for the Angels.
Hence, the BaliPure spirit is still very much in the air with some top players donning a different uniform but at one point was a BaliPure Water Defender.