Balipure asks fans to stop 'castigating' embattled import

MANILA, Philippines – The Balipure team management wants fans to stop bashing import Danijela Dzakovic for her unsportsmanlike action of striking the nape of teammate Jewelle Bermillo.

"Ms Bermillo, together with the Balipure Women's Volleyball Team, would like to beg everyone's indulgence to refrain from castigating, insulting, name-calling, and bashing Ms Dzakovic," wrote Balipure team manager Paolo Turno in a statement.

"Rather, we would like everyone to forgive her and extend some compassion as she has sincerely apologized for her actions and behavior."

In Balipure's second round game against defending champion Creamline last Saturday, June 29, there was miscommunication between Dzakovic and Bermillo in receiving Jema Galanza's off-speed attack.

The Montenegrin spiker then hit the back of Bermillo's neck out of frustration and the libero's contact lenses fell off.

The team management and the Premier Volleyball League organizers, though, argued that it was not seen in the viral video that Dzakovic was remorseful right after the incident and "profusely apologized" to Bermillo.

"What was not seen by people, other than those in the dugout, was that it was Ms Bermillo who was the first one to approach Ms Dzakovic to console her, to tell her everything was forgiven, and to wipe her tears away," added Turno.

Balipure said it decided to address the matter internally and meted out "appropriate sanctions" to Dzakovic.

"Inasmuch as we respect everyone's opinion on the matter, we would like to ask that the team's privacy likewise be respected as to how we dealt with the issue internally," said Turno.

Dzakovic left the country on Sunday, June 30, after Balipure ended its 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference with no wins in 10 games. –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.