21/365

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Taken at: Kalumpang Covered Court in Marikina City, Philippines

It’s daunting. I was afraid to go all out. More than that, I have to adjust to not having any physical activity for the last four months.

I have no jump. I lost my spiking form. I couldn’t make full use of my shoulders.

I vowed that I will have my old form back. I will.

10/365

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Taken at: Milgrosa Homes Multi-purpose Court in Marikina, Philippines

After three months of not playing volleyball due to a nerve problem, I was faced with a strong fear. I was too reluctant to play again even after a clearance from my doctor.

I was afraid of what my happen to my shoulder. I was afraid that I may not be able to use it the way I did before.

They also say that it’s also a mental game. What your mind can conceive, your body can achieve. It’s all in the mind.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Tonight, it did. I still wore my shoulder support just in case. But, as soon as the game started, it was like nothing ever happened.

I’m back, boys.

Stand up, eight.

Two weeks ago, we played with a batch that is 7 years younger than us. Definitely, agility and freshness is on their side. They are probably in a better shape than most of us. It is tagged as one of the best games for the season because they really are a force to contend with.

We played them 3 sets in a losing effort. It was our first loss of the season.

And the worst part is, it was my worst performance too. Attacks were soaring outside. Reception was all over the place. Blocking was almost non-existent. Services couldn’t cross the net.

Disappointing was not the correct word for it. It was dismal. Dreary. Upsetting. Depressing. And other what-have-yous.

Today is the last day of eliminations. I want to bounce back from the forgettable performance. We were battling against our nemesis for last season’s finals. They are 6 years younger and, probably, another team that is more agile than us.

To make the story short, I did. I resurrected from the dead with timely hard hits and drops. What I could improve on is reception and consistency in service.

Everyone was happy. We won. We ended the eliminations in first place and have a twice to beat advantage going into the semis. It was not only me who performed well, everyone delivered.

We all delivered when it mattered the most.

Rio 2016 Olympics

Just 6 months before the next Summer Olympics. I cannot believe how fast time could go. I could remember watching amazing volleyball and basketball games of the London Olympics. Now, we’re going to be treated to yet again a performance we wouldn’t forget.

Too bad I couldn’t be in Rio for this. However, I promised myself that I’ll be in Japan for 2020! It is in my bucket list to watch an Olympic volleyball final live. 2020 will be the next best opportunity.

Fight

It is one of the anticipated games. The teams currently ranked 1 and 2 are about to go at it. We train for it because we are competitive.

Then, one of the worst things happened. I sprained an ankle. One player crossed the center line and I landed on his foot. I was fearful for myself in that moment. I need to play tomorrow.

I shook it off. I tried to walk it. I ran to make it more stable. And once the pain stopped, I returned back to court. I need to make it feel normal. There was no initial swelling so I was a bit relieved.

When I got home, I prepared for bed, took out a big slab of meet and tied it to my ankle. Ice is nowhere to be found and I had to make do with cold cuts.

I woke up the next day with a wet pillow near my feet. I tried to feel if there’s still pain. I tried getting up and walking it off. It felt like nothing ever happened.

The match started. Most people are nervous and the No. 1 team surged ahead. 6 points was the lead. The score was 19-13 and we had our own run. With their every point, we countered with 3 or 4 of our own until it was 24-24. A couple of exchanges later, we emerged with a 28-26 first set victory.

Another set of people came in for the next set and they’re having an easier time than us. The coach asked me to prepare myself and he inserted me into the game at 18-14 with us leading. I only had one instruction from him. Finish the game for us.

As expected, most of the sets came to me and I delivered. It also helped that the other team was adding points off their own errors.

Then, this happened.

The final point that says we’re ending up first in the standings. The point that doesn’t show I have an injured ankle. The point that denied their team a sweep of the eliminations.

Now, I am back home and my ankle buckled under so much weight. I am icing it right now to prevent any swelling.

But, if worst comes to worst and it won’t be okay by the next week, I will still train and play. I won’t back down from a fight especially when there’s pride at stake.

2015 Asian U23 Women’s Volleyball Championship Day 4

CHI – KOR (24-26, 23-25, 25-21, 25-21, 15-8)

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This is one game I thought I’d only see in the Olympics.

Everyone was ready for an upset against the mighty Chinese but The Great Wall of China did the trick. China’s tall players are excellent block monsters which turned back every Korean attack.

Korea had great defense. Their service game gave problems to the Chinese in the first two sets. This led to attacks that were easily dug up by the Koreans.

PHI – JPN (12-25, 18-25, 15-25)

PHI vs JPN

The match most people are excited to see. The Philippines is currently an unknown entity in volleyball and Japan is ranked number 3 in world – both seniors and U20 teams.

There’s no question that Japan will win this game. However, what the Philippines proved is that they can match the Japanese when it comes to attacks.

What lacked for the host country is defense. While the Japanese libero had an easier time picking up serves and attacks, the Philippine contingent couldn’t break the Japanese service game which led to missed receives and predictable attack.

THA – IND (25-20, 25-21, 25-21)

THA vs IND

The Thais are one of the world powerhouses in volleyball. What they lack in height, they make up for agility. That was the name of the game.

Although it was great game in terms of defensive stance, the attacks spelled the difference for the Thais. They had more dependable attackers from all sides of the court. India had nearly predictable offense which is centered around their open hitters.

And also, worth noting is the Thailand’s setter which is a mainstay in the national team, Pornpun Guedpard.