AVC Cup: Vanie Gandler delivers in first start for Alas Pilipinas

AVC Cup: Vanie Gandler delivers in first start for Alas Pilipinas

/ 09:54 PM May 25, 2024

Vanie Gandler Alas Pilipinas AVC Challenge Cup

Alas Pilipinas’ Vanie Gandler during a game against Iran in the AVC Challenge Cup.-MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Vanie Gandler proved that she’s ready to deliver for Alas Pilipinas when given an opportunity to play for the flag.

Gandler was instrumental in her first start with nine points to help the Philippines book a semifinal berth in the AVC Challenge Cup after dominating Iran, 25-16, 25-13, 25-15, on a rainy Saturday evening, which didn’t stop the electric home crowd from a wild celebration at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

“I’m just really happy to be able to help the team, to be able to help Eya [Laure], cause it’s a tournament where we play every day and they get tired too,” said Gandler, who also plays for the Cignal HD Spiker in the Premier Volleyball League. “I know that our role as second-stringers is very important so that they get enough rest, so that everyone is strong, especially coming into the semis.”


READ: AVC Cup: Alas Pilipinas claims historic semis spot, sweeps Iran

From being a service specialist in the first two games, Gandler played for Eya Laure, who rested in the match, and stepped up for a bigger role as they became the first Philippine team —by any gender— to reach the AVC competition semifinals.

Although they only had a few days to prepare, the former Ateneo star knew that their team would not go down without a fight in every game but she didn’t expect to reach this far, leading Pool A with a 3-0 record and a chance to sweep the group stage and clinch the top seed against the also-ran Chinese Taipei on Sunday at 7 p.m.

Vanie Gandler Alas Pilipinas AVC Challenge Cup


“To be honest, with the preparation we had, we didn’t really put much expectations, but I always knew that this team would fight, so I’m not surprised that every game, everyone poured their hearts out,” said Gandler.


SCHEDULE: Alas Pilipinas at the AVC Challenge Cup 2024

“I’m so proud of everyone and I’m so happy, not just for the team, the crowd really boosts our energy. It’s my first time playing with the national team and it’s really a different feeling seeing the Philippine flag everywhere, feeling the heart of everyone,” she added.

Gandler was also happy to deliver with her fellow game starters Cherry Nunag, who stepped up for Thea Gagate, and libero Jen Nierva, and most especially, for Faith Nisperos, who checked in the final set and drilled the last two points.

“I’m happy to be playing with Faith again on the court. Now we played in college, now in the national team, so it feels great,” Gandler said of her former Ateneo teammate.

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TAGS: AVC Challenge Cup, Vanie Gandler

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