PVL: Vanie Gandler wants more after stellar rookie season

PVL: Vanie Gandler wants more after stellar rookie season

/ 01:51 PM January 23, 2024

Vanie Gandler Cignal HD Spikers PVL

Cignal HD Spikers’ Vanie Gandler.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — After an impressive rookie year, Vanie Gandler is hungry for more improvement in her game as she hopes to help Cignal reach the top in the 2024 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season.

When the HD Spikers missed captain Rachel Anne Daquis in the second All-Filipino Conference, Gandler stepped up big time and became a revelation for Cignal after emerging as their No. 2 scorer behind Ces Molina and top eight in the league with 142 points built on 126 attacks — No.6 best attacker with 34.24 percent efficiency — nine blocks, and seven aces.

Cignal may have fallen short of reaching the finals after losing to the Sisi Rondina-led Choco Mucho in the do-or-die Game 3 of the semifinals but Gandler helped her squad earn their second bronze last season and seventh overall third-place finish — the most in the league.

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“It was fun and it was my first time playing in the professional league but there’s of course still so much to learn. Like I said in one of my interviews before, I’m nearly halfway through what I can learn,” she told the reporters after Monday’s practice at Gameville in Mandaluyong.  “And of course, how I can develop that is by practicing and learning.”

The 23-year-old outside spiker said she is learning a lot from her new teammates, especially from their newest libero Dawn Macandili-Catindig.

“When new players come in, there’s also new things to learn so I’m so happy and excited to be playing beside Ate Dawn Macandili. Everyone knows how great she is and I’m still a bit starstruck right now. This is my first practice with her, but I’m so excited,” Gandler said.

As all of the teams beefed up their respective rosters and two new teams Capital1 and Strong Group Athletics entered the league, Gandler believes the competition will push them to take their game to the next level.

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“There were a lot of movements, new teams, but I see it more as something exciting. I think this is going to level up volleyball in the Philippines. You know, since better teams are forming, better players are coming in. It’s motivation for every time also that ‘Oh, what can we do? What more can we do to improve?’ So, it’s a challenge but for me, it’s an exciting one,” she said.

The former Ateneo captain remained eager to capture the gold this time as the last time Cignal played in the Finals was in the 2022 Reinforced Conference, which was ruled by Petro Gazz. 

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“We still haven’t gotten the main goal, which is the championship. So, of course, our eyes are still on the prize and that’s winning the gold and we’re really just going to keep building on from there,” Gandler said.

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TAGS: Cignal HD Spikers, PVL, Vanie Gandler

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