MANILA, Philippines -- Army Black Mamba emerged winless in the semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference but team captain Jovelyn Gonzaga believes that the Lady Troopers can only improve from there.
A straight sets loss to guest team KingWhale Taipei formally eliminated the Lady Troopers from the podium in the Invitational. Army Black Mamba gave a good account of themselves, but couldn't find the finishing kick in a 24-26, 18-25, 24-26 loss to the Taiwanese squad.
Gonzaga had eight points in the defeat and said afterward that it's an experience that will benefit their team in their next campaigns.
"Masarap sa feeling kasi somehow, nakapag-keep up kami sa nilaro nila," said Gonzaga. "Actually, maganda siyang experience para sa mga bata rin namin."
The Lady Troopers had a 24-23 lead in the opening set but couldn't close it out, as KingWhale took the last three points. In Set 3, they were up 24-23 once again, off a Gonzaga hit, but had no answer for KingWhale's Chang Chih-Hsuan down the stretch.
Despite the loss, Gonzaga felt that they challenged the Taiwanese club and learned plenty of lessons in the match. Though there are still some months to go before the season-ending Reinforced Conference, the veteran opposite hitter is hopeful that they can build on their performance against KingWhale.
"'Yun na 'yung magiging gauge namin for next [conference]," said Gonzaga. "We can do more, so happy kami na nakalaro namin sila."
"Lahat kami, mas magi-improve pa 'yung jelling namin," she also said. "Mas solid na team Army ang magpapakita next conference."