MANILA, Philippines -- Motolite succumbed to a third consecutive defeat in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference on Wednesday afternoon, bowing to BanKo Perlas in a hard-fought three-set battle.
Despite a breakout game from Isa Molde (16 points) and the presence of new import Krystle Esdelle, Motolite could not get the job done as the Perlas Spikers outplayed them down the stretch of every set for a 26-24, 32-30, 26-24 triumph.
That dropped them to 0-3 in the conference, one of two winless teams in the league along with BaliPure (0-3).
Still, their gutsy stand against BanKo Perlas gave coach Godfrey Okumu reason to be optimistic.
"As we've all seen and we've said before, it's a new team. And we're trying to work on our defending system, both floor and net defense, trying to avoid the space or the gaps between the blocks, learning each other," said Okumu.
"I will say, we are building up. The team will continue fighting, and I'm happy to say we are making progress," he added. "So with time, we'll have good results."
Okumu expects import Channon Thompson to bounce back after being limited to 10 points by BanKo, and hopes that Esdelle will be quick to adjust to her new team after arriving on Wednesday morning and playing immediately.
He also hopes that Molde will play at a high level consistently, after coming up with several clutch hits for Motolite.
"Imagine if this is how Isa is playing as a local, then what if the imports pick up. That's what we're waiting for," said Okumu. "Isa was the star of the game today. She did a good job and we're all happy for her."
Motolite has two days to prepare and integrate Esdelle into their line-up before taking on Creamline and BaliPure in back-to-back games this weekend. Still uncertain to play is top local spiker Myla Pablo, who remains day to day with a lingering lower back injury.
"I think we'll be ready for the games come the weekend," said Okumu.
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