THE Premier Volleyball League yesterday reprimanded BaliPure's reinforcement Dani Dzakovic for her unsportsmanlike behavior during their match with defending champion Creamline at the close of the PVL Reinforced Conference eliminations last Saturday.
Frustration got the best of the Montenegro native, who hit her teammate-libero Jewelle Bermillo after a miscommunication between the two players.
As a result, the Water Defenders committed a crucial error which resulted into the Cool Smashers taking the first set.
The incident immediately went viral, infuriating fans on social media.
Cremaline eventually won the match, 25-19, 25-15, 25-18, that ended BaliPure's winless campaign in the season-opening conference.
“Such uncalled-for act has no place in the league and though she (Dzakovic) had issued an apology right after the incident, which Bermillo accepted, we view this act (of Dzakovic) as offensive not only to Bermillo but also to the sensibilities of all stakeholders of the sport and its ever-growing fans,” said Sports Vision president Ricky Palou in a statement.
A repetition of the act by any erring player, Palou added, will be dealt with more severely.
“We invite these imports to spice up the tournament, primarily for the fans, and at the same time share their expertise with the local players,” said Palou.
“Conversely, we expect them to play and be at their best, game-wise and character-wise,” added Palou.
With the Water Defenders trailing 19-24, Bermillo and Dzakovic both went for the dig after an off-speed spike by Cool Smashers' Jema Galanza, resulting to their collision.
In frustration of failing the keep the ball flying and eventually losing the opening set, Dzakovic hit Bermillo in the back of the head.
Shocked, Bermillo was reduced to tears as her contact lens also fell from the impact of the strike.
Djakovic later profusely apologized to Bermillo, embracing her and assisting her all the way to their bench.
“I said I’m sorry. I’m so close to her and I love her. I just hugged her since I cannot explain this,” said Djakovic, who left the country yesterday. “I was not able to control my emotions.”
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc., meanwhile, will only make necessary actions once the PVL submitted its report regarding the incident, which might affect Dzakovic's future in playing not only in the country but overseas.
“LVPI shall wait for the results of the PVL investigation before anything else,” said the federation's top official Peter Cayco.