When the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters started the PSL Grand Prix, one figure from Coach Roger Gorayeb’s stable of players returned to the Power Hitters after a stint with Bangko Perlas.
Sasa’s returning the trust given
Rysabelle Devanadera, or better known in the volleyball community as Sasa, made her return to the Power Hitters after a two-year hiatus with the Manny Pangilinan-owned franchise. She started her volleyball career playing for the San Sebastian Lady Stags in the NCAA and Shakey’s V.League where she was part of a champion squad composed of Lou-Ann Latigay, Chang Ancheta and Sue Roces.
After her stint in the NCAA, Gorayeb signed her up together with Latigay and Roces to be a part of the Power Hitters in the V.League where they won numerous titles. Also, she started to work for PLDT and from there she started a career in the professional world. When the Power Hitters took a leave in the volleyball scene, Devanadera continued to play as she played for Bangko Perlas in the PVL. She was seldomly used under Perlas thus making her think if she will continue to play. But a call from Gorayeb made her think of returning back and repay the trust to the same mentor who gave her the break in the sport which gave her the name she has right now.
“Sobrang laking bagay kasi kapag may tiwala yung coach sayo, alam mo na may magagawa ka, makakatulong ka.” said the 31-year old San Pablo, Laguna native.
The rise of the game of Devanadera
In her return to the Power Hitters, her numbers may not be special numbers like what other local players may score but the intangibles such as the quick plays set up by Jasmine Nabor, or the blockings, or even the service aces she scores, those intangibles are the ones that are vital to the success of PLDT this tournament and Devanadera credits it all to the everyday training they are working hard.
“Kasi everyday naman kami nagtetraining e. Nadadala lang siguro sa game and inaayos namin talaga ang laro namin para maipanalo ang mga games.” said the Business Management graduate.
And as one of the veterans of a young PLDT squad, she always tells her teammates to just bring out their game. If they think that its just a game and enjoy the game, they can win it one game at a time, and look at the success they have gained. “Ang sabi ko sa kanila ay ilaro lang natin ang laro natin. Wala naman mawawala e. After ng pagkatalo namin sa F2 nung second round, laro lang at walang pressure. Tapos after nun, ayun maganda naman nilaro namin and nakikita ninyo naman sa labas na nageenjoy lang kami sa loob ng court na parang magaan lang kami sa loob.”
Big challenge in semis
Now that they are in semifinals going up against an experience F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, Devanadera sees that they can get a step-up in the series especially they got a game in the second round against the Cargo Movers, but its a win, the next step is win another one and that is what they will work at this semifinals. “Dagdag lakas ng loob lang yun. Kasi nung pagkapanalo namin, iniisip namin tapos na. Ang tinitingnan namin ay yung mga susunod na laro. Nakakatulong din naman siya na nanalo kami pero tapos na yun. Next game naman. That is how we think right now. One game at a time and we will get there with that mindset.”
With that mindset, it can be said that the Power Hitters are a dangerous squad in the semifinals and Devanadera is at the forefront on the leadership standpoint as it will be a tough challenge to crack most especially against the Cargo Movers. But as Devanadera said it best, its one game at a time. And with that winning tradition under their belt, who knows, anything can happen.