Gonzaga dedicates PVL bronze medal to Army
ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines — Don’t call it a comeback.
Jovelyn Gonzaga did leave the sport of volleyball due to a knee injury she suffered in December of 2017, but the way she played the game seems as though she was never gone for a minute.
The star opposite hitter was Pacifictown-Army’s heart and soul throughout the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference and she let her emotions flow through when she and her team captured the bronze medal against BanKo 18-25, 25-016, 20-25, 25-15, 15-13, in Game 3 of the third-place series.
Gonzaga secured Lady Troopers’ podium finish when she notched the match’s final point off a service ace and she finally let her tears flow the moment the ball touched the Perlas Spikers’ side of the court.
“I just returned to the game and I really wanted to play for Army because they’ve been so supportive of me and at the same time it’s been so long that we’ve played together,” Gonzaga, speaking in Filipino, said on Sunday at Ynares Center here.
Gonzaga last played for the Philippine Army in 2016 when the Lady Troopers played in the Philippine Super Liga and the next reiterations of the team did not feature the 27-year-old since she was recovering from her torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Although she didn’t show her usual explosiveness, a major factor that made her the country’s premier opposite hitter before her injury, Gonzaga made sure that her presence would be felt in the other areas of the game.
Gonzaga was the Lady Troopers’ Best Digger in the bronze medal game when she tallied 20 digs against the Perlas Spikers while scoring nine points, some of which happened in the fifth frame.
All this effort, Gonzaga said, was dedicated to the Philippine Army.
“I know that my game isn’t fully back and I what I do now is help in other ways like defense and my mindset is to just do anything to help the team win,” said Gonzaga. “And after the two years, all I wanted to do was give back to Army because they’ve been very understanding of my case.”
“I want to give back to the Philippine Army during every game and of course show my passion to the supporters of the team and of the organization.”
Gonzaga added that even though this Army team is different from the ones she’s played in before, the soldier’s identity is still with the team.
The Philippine Army always had success under its name be it in the PVL or PSL winning a combined five titles in both leagues and featuring legendary players such as Tina Salak, Mayeth Carolino, Michelle Carolino, and Rachel Anne Daquis.
“I’m actually very happy because the heart of the Army Lady Troopers is still there,” said Gonzaga. “Although there were players who have moved on like Tina Salak and the Carolino sisters, who are huge players for the team, the mystique and identity are still there.”
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