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Small victory

Mika Reyes



Two weeks after joining Sta. Lucia, I was given my first major test when we joined the Spike For A Cause of the Philippine Superliga (PSL) and Imus City Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi.

More than competing against three other teams, including an all-star squad from Japan, the main goal of this project was to help in raising donations for the victims of the Taal Volcano eruption last January.

For our team, our objective is to see the status of our team in the early stretch of the season. We also want to check our chemistry and determine what are the things that we need to adjust as we head to the PSL Grand Prix that starts on 22 February.

We also want to see how this new team would perform inside the court, especially in crucial game-time situations.

So far, in the three games that we played, I can say that we performed well. We didn’t get the title, but I consider it as a golden opportunity because it gave us the confidence we need while giving us new knowledge on how to compete with our new teammates, including our import in Shainah Joseph.

Competing in a preseason game is really different that what we do in training or tune-up matches.

Here, the situation, the atmosphere and the pressure are simulated to what we have during real games. So by the time we start our journey, we pretty much know what to expect and how to react when the game is on the line.

Most of my teammates are new.

Our libero, Bang Pineda, is the only player on the team whom I already played with in the PSL while our setter, Djanel Cheng, was my former teammate during the Manila Meet back in high school.

Of course, MJ Philips was my former teammate with the national team. Unfortunately, she didn’t see action in the pocket tournament as she’s still recovering from a wound on her toe.

To be honest, I still have some hesitations with the team.

As we know, I’ve been training with them for only two weeks and we barely know each other inside the court.

That’s why competing in this pocket tournament is a small victory because it gave us the chance to know each other inside and outside the court. I know developing a team into one solid unit is not an overnight process, but the fact that we already had the chance to play with each other is already a positive development.

We still have a lot of things to practice, but we will use all the experience we gained here to motivate ourselves as we compete in the Grand Prix.

For sure, all eyes will be on our import.

But it should not be a reason for us to get scared. Instead, it should serve as a reminder that other teams are also preparing for the real battle in the Grand Prix.

As we know, I’ve been training with them for only two weeks and we barely know each other inside the court.

After the pocket tourney, we enjoyed the weekend as we had our teambuilding activity at Aqua Mira Resort in Cavite.

There, we got to know each other even more and prepared us for the tough grind ahead.

As I’ve said, we may have never won the title, but the fact that we got to know each other more in the pocket tournament is already an achievement far more precious than gold.

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