The PVL’s Player of the Week is Cignal spiker

Feb 27, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – Vanie Gandler demonstrated that her incredible Premier Volleyball League debut season wasn’t an anomaly.

In her inaugural match of the 2024 All-Filipino Conference, the former Ateneo standout spiker showcased her prowess on the court, guiding the HD Spikers to a four-set victory against the resurgent Akari Chargers. This remarkable performance saw her amass a game-high 19 points, with 17 attacks, one ace, and one block, establishing her immediate impact on the team.

Surrounded by a roster led by resilient veterans such as former PVL Most Valuable Player Ces Molina and the elite off-season addition Dawn Macandili-Catindig, Gandler seamlessly integrated herself into the squad. Her ability to contribute significantly, even in her first match, speaks volumes about her skill and adaptability on the court.

Despite her early success, Gandler’s humility and team-oriented mindset were evident, as she was willingly rested in the closing stages of the match. This decision not only underscored the depth of talent within the HD Spikers but also highlighted Gandler’s understanding of the collective effort required for sustained success in the highly competitive All-Filipino Conference.

As the season unfolds, Gandler’s promising start serves as a strong foundation for her continued growth and impact on the team. Her ability to complement the experience of seasoned players while making significant individual contributions positions her as a key player to watch in the ongoing PVL season.

Experiencing the joy of success, the Cignal rising star conveyed the positive sentiment surrounding the team’s victory over Akari at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Despite the challenges posed by a notably brief preparation time, there was a sense of happiness as the team managed to come together and secure a triumphant 21-25, 25-18, 25-12, 25-18 win.

Following the initial set, the player acknowledged the normal first-game jitters, but the determination and desire to succeed were palpable among the team members. It became evident that the collective effort and shared aspiration were crucial in overcoming any initial challenges.

In an acknowledgment of her exceptional contributions to the team, Gandler was awarded the coveted title of the 2024 season’s first Player of the Week by the newly-formed PVL Press Corps. This prestigious accolade, presented for her outstanding performances during the period from February 20 to 24, served as a testament to Gandler’s impact on the team’s success and set a positive tone for the upcoming season.

The competition for this accolade was fierce, with Gandler surpassing notable players such as Tots Carlos of Creamline, Savie Davison of PLDT, Mylene Paat of Chery Tiggo, Nicole Tiamzon of Petro Gazz, and Mars Alba of Choco Mucho. The victory in this vote, routinely attended by reporters covering the PVL beat, further solidified Gandler’s standing as a rising star in the league.

At just 23 years old, Gandler approaches her burgeoning career with a mentality that mirrors that of seasoned veterans. In reflecting on her recent accomplishments, she expressed a keen awareness of the challenges that lie ahead. Recognizing that teams will intensify their scouting efforts against her, Gandler emphasized the need to think outside the box and elevate her game to maintain a competitive edge.

Her victory as Player of the Week not only celebrates her individual prowess but also serves as motivation for the entire team. Gandler’s commitment to overcoming obstacles and her understanding of the demanding nature of her newfound fame showcases a maturity beyond her years, hinting at a promising future filled with continued success and growth in the world of professional volleyball.

Personally, having played two conferences, she acknowledged the increased scrutiny on her performance, stating, “Now that I’ve played two conferences, I know that the teams are going to really scout me more, so I really have to think outside the box and level up from here.”

Addressing the team dynamics, she added, “As a team, I’m sure teams are also gonna scout us. That’s a challenge, of course. We’re just 14 awesome, so, you know, [we need to] stay healthy. It’s everyone’s biggest obstacle.” The emphasis was on the collective challenge faced by the team, recognizing the need to maintain optimal health as a crucial factor for success.

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