Pocari Sweat replacement import Krystal Rivers checks her ITC confirmation during the Lady Warriors’ Game 3 semifinals match against the Power Smashers.
After a long wait, Pocari Sweat replacement import Krystal Rivers finally received her International Transfer Certificate Thursday night, allowing her to suit up for the Lady Warriors in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
The American opposite spiker got the green light midway in the second set of Pocari Sweat’s 25-19, 25-22, 25-21, best-of-three semifinals series decider win against the Power Smashers that gave the Lady Warriors the last Finals ticket at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The league received an email from FIVB coursed through Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. around 6:51 p.m., clearing the US NCAA Division 1 player from University of Alabama to play as replacement for injured Bosnian reinforcement Edina Selimovic (right hamstring tear).
After learning about her clearance, the 5-foot-11 power-hitter and prolific scorer based on her college credentials put on her blue Pocari Sweat uniform but decided not to enter the court until she sees for herself a copy of her ITC confirmation in her FIVB record.
“We were just looking for confirmation. I just want to be 100 percent sure that about the transfer,” said Rivers, who led Alabama to two NCAA tournament appearance and the school’s all-time leading scorer.
“I’m ready to play. The team is excited to get me out there,” added Rivers, a Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer) survivor and member of the US training pool. “I’m excited for what we can accomplish.”
Unfortunately, she couldn’t access the FIVB VIS system which was down at the moment.
“Seeing that the FIVB VIS system has not solved the problem yet, FIVB permits the player Krystal Rivers to play from now,” according to the email sent by FIVB ITC coordinator Carlos Roberto de Assis to LVPI vice president Peter Cayco which he then forwarded to the PVL.
Head coach Rommel Abella said that the squad knew that Rivers already secured her ITC but for fair play decided to sit her out.
“Well actually going to the game alam ko meron na eh. But siyempre unfair naman dun sa kabilang team kung last minute, magpapalit tayo ng player,” he said. “So it’s just right na hindi na muna napalaro. But hopefully maging maganda ‘yung kalabasan ng game namin on Saturday.”
Rivers, who arrived in the country last May 7, is expected to debut on Saturday in Game 1 of the best-of-three championship showdown against BaliPure.
Her presence will add more firepower to an already loaded Pocari Sweat roster led by American Michelle Strizak and local star Myla Pablo.
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