Marathon matches are just what the PVL needs: Gervacio

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Dzi Gervacio makes a pass during a PVL game. Arvin Lim, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines – In the 2017 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference, five-set matches have become almost routine.

There were 11 five-setters in the elimination round, and so far, all four quarterfinal matches have gone the full route.

For Perlas team captain Dzi Gervacio, the marathon matches are certainly exhausting, but they are also exactly what the doctor ordered for the league.

“It seems like lahat ng teams ngayon (play five-set games),” Gervacio said Tuesday after Perlas hacked out a 24-26, 25-15, 26-28, 25-20, 15-8 victory over Air Force to stay in the hunt for a semifinals berth.

“It’s good for the sport, na it’s five sets lahat ng games so far sa quarterfinals. Wala pang four or three sets. It’s really good for everyone, for the sport,” she added.

“I feel like it’s what we need, it’s what the PVL needed na magandang exposure for the teams and the athletes,” Gervacio further explained.

[It seems like all teams play five-set games. It’s good for the sport that all quarterfinal games have gone to five sets. There are no four or three-set games yet. It’s really good for everyone, for the sport. I feel like it’s what we need, it’s what the PVL needed – good exposure for the teams and the athletes.]

Gervacio and the Perlas Spikers have a 1-1 record so far in the quarterfinals, as they dropped a five-setter to Creamline last Saturday before recovering to beat the Lady Jet Spikers on Tuesday. The former Ateneo de Manila University star had 12 points in the win, while import Rupia Inck led Perlas with 30 points.

Two days before the quarterfinals, Perlas also lost to Creamline in a four-set match.

Gervacio admits that the long games are taking its toll on the team. “Nakakapagod din,” she said. “Mahirap magpakundisyon. For example, if we want to do weight training, we can’t do as much kasi walang time to recover for our bodies.”

[It is tiring. We can’t do too much conditioning. For example, if we want to do weight training, we can’t do as much because our bodies don’t have time to recover.]

Yet as much as the marathon matches are benefiting the PVL, they are also helping Perlas. The Spikers were unable to claim an outright semifinals berth in the tournament, but Gervacio believes their quarterfinals stint is a blessing in disguise.

“Siyempre, sino ba ang may gusto ng five sets, ‘di ba? But I think everyone agrees na okay na rin na nakapasok kami sa quarters, para we see what adjustments we need to do, if/when we go to the semifinals,” she explained.

[Who wants to keep playing in five-set matches? But I think everyone agrees that it was good for us to play in the quarterfinals, so we can see what adjustments we need to do, if/when we go to the semifinals.]

The Spikers will conclude their quarterfinals campaign on Thursday against Pocari Sweat. The Lady Warriors have won both of their matches in the quarters, with both games going the distance.

Perlas will have to win their game against Pocari in order to have a chance at advancing to the semifinals.

“We’ll just work on our end,” said Gervacio. “For sure, magi-scout din kami, kasi so far we’ve never won against Pocari. So that’s something to look forward to.”

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