Denden Lazaro is thankful Bali Pure signed up a familiar face when they get back into action in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference that starts this weekend.
After finishing third in the Open Conference, the Purest Water Defenders tapped Ateneo coach Tai Bundit to handle the squad as they slug it out with several contenders in the season-ending tournament of the V-League.
“It feels good to have a familiar system to play in,” she told FOX Sports. “Syempre, I know na malaki yung inimprove ko kay coach Tai. I’m glad na siya ulit yung mag-co-coach sa amin. This time around, mas maganda yung system namin inside the court kasi coach Tai instructs us to play our roles inside.”
Joining Lazaro at the Bali Pure camp are former Bundit disciples in Mae Tajima, Ella de Jesus, Bea Tan and Amy Ahomiro.
But more than half of the team will taste the Thai mentor’s extreme ways for the first time.
“So far, okay naman,” Lazaro said of Bundit’s rapport with the other players and the team’s imports. “Nagkakaintindihan sila. Nag-aadjust rin sila sa system namin here.”
Decimated by the departure of superstar Alyssa Valdez, Open Conference MVP Grethcel Soltones, Janine Marciano and reserve libero Alyssa Eroa, the Purest Water Defenders won’t be crowned as favorites.
And while Lazaro acknowledges it will be an uphill climb, the expert defense specialist believes they have what it takes to make noise in the Reinforced Conference.
“People are stepping up,” she stressed. “We have 2 good imports. We’ll try to make do of what we have. And so far, we’re doing good naman.” — By Joyce Palad