It’s the ‘Tai Bundit magic.’
In a span of 5 days, Bali Pure has transitioned quickly from losing to collegiate team UST to taking down powerhouse Bureau of Customs in the 13th Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference.
Heading into Wednesday’s match-up against the Transformers, who was coming off a morale-boosting 5-set victory over Laoag, the Purest Water Defenders had the odds stacked not in their favor as the Sherwin Meneses-led crew was to parade a complete lineup for the first time in 3 outings.
The underdog tag did not last, however, as Bali Pure turned back all of Customs’ attempt at snatching a set and for spiker Dzi Gervacio, the presence of head coach Tai Bundit, who was not present in their match against UST, made all the difference.
“‘Yung little things na naririnig mo kay coach Tai (Bundit) nakatulong like kanina, I was in mid-air and he was like, ‘Zone 1. Zone1,’ and then ako, ‘Okay, zone 1.’ It was a point. Those little things and the confidence he gives the team help,” she told FOX Sports.
“With him, we train mostly attacks. Kaya parang you’re thinking nung first game kulang yata ang training namin sa depensa and blocking. But I think that’s him eh. Sobra kaming magpawis sa kanya (kasi) sobrang intense ng training,” she added.
Though a former spiker off Ateneo, Gervacio is just starting to witness and experience Bundit’s rigid volleyball program as she graduated the year before the coach came in as head honcho for the Lady Eagles.
On what sets the Thai coach apart, Gervacio shares: “I guess I experienced the coach Tai magic. Okay din siya as a coach kasi less pressure during the game. Sa training talaga siya intense.”
During the action-packed yet short battle, Bali Pure sent a message basically saying its spikers got Customs’ Alyssa Valdez’s number via defense patterns especially designed to prepare and stop their former teammate’s onslaught.
This, too, according to Gervacio, has Bundit’s genius written all over it.
“You kind of know how she plays. Yesterday, Den (Lazaro) was like, ‘Ganito ang depensa pag si Alyssa.’ Or like si coach Tai sasabihin na pag si Alyssa you get a drop ball,” she said.
“Coach Tai discussed ang mga possible scenarios. He is our coach. We are his team. So siyempre kung anuman maka-contribute sa amin, ‘yun ang ibibigay niya,” she added.
Ecstatic over the huge upset, the Purest Water Defenders have proven that the loss of Valdez, Grethcel Soltones and Janine Marciano is—though challenging—pretty much survivable.
At this point, though, Gervacio wants the entire team to remain cautious to avoid complacency.
“Nakaka-overwhelm and ang saya (ang panalo). But then, like they always say, you’re only as good as your last game,” admitted Gervacio.
“We’ll be working harder pa for our next few games. All the teams naman are strong this season. We’ll always prepare for that,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio