F2 Logistics assembled its first winning streak in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference, but the Cargo Movers’ swift 25-10, 25-16, 25-14 victory over Gerflor turned to a sidelight of the league’s biggest story on Thursday: social media posts detailing management’s alleged shabby treatment of the Defenders.
The seasoned Ara Galang scored 11 points to lead the Cargo Movers to their fourth win in six matches after just 79 minutes, before focus turned to the Defenders, who slumped to their sixth straight loss after anonymous posts on Reddit bared how demoralized they are because of alleged delayed salaries and poor training facilities.
Danika Gendrauli, Gerflor’s opposite hitter who finished with 11 points against the Cargo Movers, was one of those who spoke up and said the Defenders still want to continue striving and focusing like most of her teammates.
“Our mindset is that since we’re already here playing, we should push on because we also need this. My teammates and I talk to each other after training to set aside our problems first because it will affect our games,” Gendrauli said in Filipino. “During our game earlier, we really didn’t mind the external problems.”
PLDT’s 29-27, 25-14, 25-18 victory over Galeries Tower, the High Speed Hitters’ fifth straight, was carved out later in the day after Erika Santos made her first conference start and drilled in 17 points.
Royse Tubino finished with 14 points on 12 kills and Rhea Dimaculangan’s solid playmaking resulted in 16 excellent sets for PLDT, which rose to 5-1.
Aside from the alleged nonpayment of player salaries, Gerflor players have also been enduring difficulties regarding practice venues and scheduling, which Gendrauli hopes management also addresses for the benefit of the team.
Some players of Gerflor, in addition to playing in the PVL, are working day jobs that are being jeopardized with management allegedly scheduling practices early in the day and at different venues.
“I hope we have a stable place to train so that we don’t have to go to different barangay courts just to train. I hope [the management] also listens that we need to be complete during trainings,” Gendrauli said. “If ever we are forced to train in the morning like they want, most of my teammates are working and that results in just five players being present.
“I hope [management] listens and moves practice to the evenings.”
The league, meanwhile, quickly launched an investigation and said, in a statement released to media, “that we are committed to conducting a thorough and fair inquiry into the matter, ensuring that both the team’s representatives and the players involved will have an opportunity to be heard.”
Coach Sammy Acaylar was also vocal in supporting his players.
“There is a problem. Maybe it’s up to the management to answer that. We don’t want to get ahead of management,” Acaylar told reporters in Filipino. “I told them that I will support them as long as they (Gerflor management) take care of our players.”