We’re back!

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Like taking a cold morning shower, the hardest thing to do is buckling down to work after a long vacation.

That’s what my Petron teammates and I experienced when we regrouped last week for our first training in preparation for the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix next month.

The vibe in our first training of the year was light and easy.

Of course, coming from a grueling title campaign and long Christmas break, we spent a lot of time chatting and catching up. That was no sweat for us.

Since we’re still in the early part of our training program, we just lifted weights to get ourselves back in shape. As they say, having a vacation is really fun and enjoyable but once you get out of shape, it’s really hard to get back.

The vibe in our first training of the year was light and easy

Our team for the Grand Prix will be intact.

The core players of the team like Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Ces Molina, Rhea Dimaculangan and Remy Palma as well as our coach Shaq de los Santos will all return for another title campaign.

The only new additions will be our imports, Katherine Bell and Stephanie Niemer and a local player who is so dear and close to my heart, Denden Lazaro.

Denden and I share a special bond.

Aside from the memorable battles we had when we were still playing for De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University, Denden and I have been together for the past couple of years.

We were teammates in the national team, where we spent a lot of time together during the Southeast Asian Games, AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship in 2017 and the Asian Games and AVC Asian Cup last year.

WE had a lot of chatting and catching up in Petron’s first training day of the year for the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix this February. Of course, we welcomed our new teammate — Denden Lazaro (third from right) — with open arms.

Aside from those, we were both part of the team that trained twice in Japan, so it’s really like a reunion of sorts.

That’s why I think we will hit the ground running smooth and there won’t be any major adjustments on our part because we used to be roommates in the AVC tournament.

We get along very well and I love her charming persona.

Denden is very transparent with what she feels and speaks her mind when it’s necessary.

She’s true to herself and she’s not the type of person who loves to please people. If she agrees with you, she’ll let you know. If not, she’ll tell you right away as well.

But more than anything, she’s a fighter on the court with a strong sense of leadership. She will make sure that she got you covered at the back when an attacker makes her move.

We know that the connection between the libero, the setter and the middle blocker is very crucial in running a fluid offense. So, I think we really need to work hard to polish our game and engage her into the system of coach Shaq.

Vacation is really fun and enjoyable but once you get out of shape, it’s really hard to get back.

Still, I’m very excited to get to know her well and be with her as we embark on this journey.
But before anything, we have to first brush off the rust in our bodies.

We have to work hard to adjust our body clocks to the daily training routine and put our game faces on for the tough grind ahead.

I hope we can get back on track in a week or two. That’s the time when we will get to experience the toughness of our training and the urgency of our mission, which is to defend our Grand Prix title.

Well, the celebration brought by our previous title and the holiday spirit had died down and we’re now marching back to the Grand Prix with the same hunger and the intensity we had when we won the All-Filipino crown last month.

We’re both excited and ready.

We’re truly back in action.

What are your thoughts?

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