The financial pinch brought by the coronavirus left Jeanette Panaga with no choice but to leave PetroGazz for Creamline in the upcoming season of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
In the latest edition of The Athletes’ Tribune late Monday, Panaga admitted that leaving the Angels was a painful decision she had to make following the nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic outbreak.
“For me, it was very hard to leave. The pandemic had put me in a difficult position in which I couldn’t handle the finances anymore,” said the 22-year old former National Collegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player.
“I am the breadwinner and I decided to leave because I chose my family. If there’s no pandemic, maybe I will stay with PetroGazz.”
One of the country’s best middle blockers, Panaga had been playing beautiful music with the Angels in the previous PVL wars.
But with the pandemic shuttering the league and team owners tightening their belts, Panaga had to join her teammates Cherry Nunag, Jonah Sabete, Kai Baloaloa and Jovy Prado in looking for better opportunities.
She joined powerhouse Creamline squad, which is already overflowing with talent with the presence of stars Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado and Michelle Gumabao with an explosive blocker rotation of Pau Soriano, Risa Sato and Celine Domingo.
But Panaga is hardly intimidated.
“It’s going to be a healthy competition. It all depends on how we will take it as a challenge,” she said, adding that she had to find an extra source of income due to the uncertainty brought by the global pandemic.
Her partner, Michelle Morente of F2 Logistics, said they are now into clothing business, which is also a way to promote their gender preference.
“I am the black sheep of the family and the rainbow symbolizes the LGBTQ community,” said Morente, referring to their clothing line named “Rainbow Sheep.”
“We are trying to be very busy and maybe that’s the reason why we came up with our own business.”
The PVL is looking to open its bubble season this April.