New coach Fallorina says experience Army’s best weapon
Army will have a really new look when the new Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season opens next month as the Lady Troopers will be handled by a new coach in Randy Fallorina while they look for a new cornerstone with Jovelyn Gonzaga opting to skip the event.
The seasoned Gonzaga, easily one of the most enigmatic stars in the league, had told the team that she will concentrate on the buildup of the Philippine beach volleyball team for the Southeast Asian Games in May, a noble act that will undoubtedly leave the Lady Troopers one formidable offensive weapon short.
Fallorina, meanwhile, will have his hands full as he tries to steer Army out of the doldrums. The Lady Troopers went winless in the Reinforced Conference and it won’t only be Gonzaga who will be out but also Ging Balse and Jem Gutierrez, who are both injured.
“It will be very tough,” the 44-year-old Fallorina told the Inquirer in Filipino. “I am just asking my players to keep trusting each other, even if it will practically be the second six that will be playing.”
This will be the second straight season-opening conference that Gonzaga will miss because of national team duties. Last year, her preparations resulted in a bronze medal for the country in the Vietnam Games together with partner Dij Rodriguez.
The 31-year-old hitter teamed up with Sisi Rondina to rule the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures in Subic last December.
‘Fight it out’
“I think the team being together for so long is the best weapon that we have [for the PVL],” Fallorina, who takes over from Kungfu Reyes, added. “It will be their experience which we can use. But you can be sure that we will fight it out every game.”
The Lady Troopers will now look at Honey Rose Tubino and Jeanette Villareal to take up most of the scoring cudgels unless the squad comes up with a major signing while the wheeling and dealing are happening.
Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Myla Pablo left their respective former teams Chery Tiggo and Petro Gazz to sign up elsewhere, even as Ponggay Gaston, who has seen limited minutes lately, bolted out of the Choco Mucho camp to join Chery Tiggo.
The Crossovers also signed Seth Rodriguez and Bingle Landicho to shore up their defense.
Fallorina, who played for the Troopers in last year’s Spikers’ Turf, will also have Audrey Paran, Ivy Perez, Nene Bautista, Lut Malaluan, Angela Nunag and Tin Agno as some of the team’s holdovers.