Learning never stops

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KORAT, Thailand — Hello guys!

I’m here now in Korat, Thailand for another volleyball adventure — the AVC Asian Women’s Cup Championship that started last Sunday.

Before leaving Manila, I took the time to have a ‘selfie’ with my new teammates Jasmine Nabor, Risa Sato and Gretchel Soltones. I’m really excited for this tournament because it gives us the opportunity to play with them and get to know them even better.

We arrived here last Friday following a very long and grueling journey.

Actually, the flight from Manila to Bangkok was around three hours then we had another five-hour bus ride to this city. When we finally got to our hotel, we were so exhausted so we decided to have our dinner then rest.

The following day, we had a light workout.

I was really looking forward to it because it was the first time for us to train as a complete team. It was very challenging because we have very limited time to adjust and jell, but we’re embracing it because we know that we should keep our focus on the task at hand and not use it as an excuse.

After all, we’re here not just to represent the country, but also to learn and be continue familiarizing ourselves with topnotch competition.

The battle in this tournament is quite similar to the one we had three weeks ago in the Asian Games in Jakarta.

There are a lot of familiar faces from other teams, which is actually a very good thing since we want to get used to playing against them.

We were bracketed against Australia, Iran and Kazakhstan in Pool C.

Sure, it will not be an easy job because we practically lost half of our team, but our new players are also very excited for this and are ready for the challenge of representing the country in a prestigious tournament like this.

Our new players are Jasmine (Nabor), Jema (Galanza), Risa (Sato) and Gretchel (Soltones) as well as my Petron teammate Nang Aiza (Maizo-Pontillas), who is making a return to the national team.

We all know that they are really good. From offense to defense, we know that they would not let us down and would surely deliver.

That’s why I’m glad and blessed to be given an opportunity to play with them. Aside from having an additional firepower on our team, I also had the chance to get to know them even better.

Risa, for example, is so cute!

We all know that grew up in Japan, but you would be surprised with how good she is in speaking Filipino. She’s really impressive.

Does it mean I can also speak fluent Japanese the next time I go to Japan? (LOL!)
Anyway, it’s good that they were around during our last training before we left Manila. At least we were able to bond and somehow develop our chemistry, which is very important moving forward.

While me, Nang Aiza and coach Shaq (Delos Santos) are competing here, our Petron teammates are already preparing for the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference.

I’m glad and blessed to be given an opportunity to play with them.

I’m glad that we were able to attend a couple of training sessions before we left.

As reigning champions, we know that the battle in the PSL wouldn’t be easy because all teams are leveling up every year. We also don’t have the right to be complacent because we were not able to accomplish our goal in the Invitationals last conference.

And it serves as our motivation, a rallying point to push ourselves further and work on our lapses.

It’s not a joke to face F2 Logistics and I’m pretty sure that it would parade the same core that made it successful in the past. Also, we’re expecting other teams to beef up their rosters with quality talents to give us a hard time defending our title.

I’ve been with Petron for quite some time now, but I still believe that I still have a lot to catch up.

I have to familiarize myself and learn the system all over again since I’ve been away from them since last month due to the Japan training, the Asian Games and now this, the AVC Asian Cup.

For me, learning should never stop.

It should be continuous.

No matter how good you think you are both as an athlete and as a person, you still have to be humble and learn everything. There would be some ups and downs, but that’s the perfect time to get back on track and trust what God has planed for you.

I have to admit: I still have a lot to learn.

I know my batchmates have already accomplished a lot, but I’m neither intimidated nor pressured. I am in my own timeline. I know I will also be there soon if I will continue working hard and learn.

After all, success is not an overnight process.

What are your thoughts?

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