MANILA, Philippines – Imports Macy Ubben and Lauren Whyte are doing so much more than providing the numbers for Team Iriga-Navy in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.
According to head coach Edgardo Rusit, their American imports are also serving almost as secondary coaches for the local players.
"'Yung import malaking tulong sa amin 'yan. Kasi hindi lang sila basta 'yung kasama namin sa team, nagbibigay rin sila ng mga ideas nila eh," Rusit said Wednesday after Iriga downed BaliPure in four sets to open their campaign.
"Ako nga 'yung coach, pero kahit papaano, tumutulong din sila kung ano 'yung mas maganda pa, kaya ang ganda ng blending ng team," he added.
The Iriga imports proved their worth in their first game, with Ubben contributing 27 points, 15 receptions, and 13 digs while Whyte came through with a 17-point effort.
Their leadership inside the court was also instrumental, especially in the fourth set when the Lady Oragons closed out the show after falling short in the third frame. Iriga-Navy took a 25-23, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19 triumph for a strong start to the conference.
For Rusit, it is no issue that his imports are taking a more proactive role in the team.
"Sa akin mas okay 'yung nangyayari na 'yan. Kung ano pa 'yung tinuturo ko sa kanila, mas nadadagdagan pa," he said.
The American reinforcements, for their part, are eager to help Iriga-Navy rise to the top of the PVL team after several seasons of being the underdogs.
"I think having the two imports that we have, me and Lauren is really beneficial," said Ubben.
"We're bringing a new style of play, and a new type of play to Iriga and the Navy. So not only are they teaching us things, but hopefully we're also helping and teaching them," she added.
Ubben and Whyte will be tested anew when Team Iriga-Navy faces off against powerhouse PayMaya on May 19.
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