Getting to know the feeling
American Janisa Johnson has one “good” problem to take care of after helping PetroGazz end Creamline’s dominance in the Premier Volleyball League—how to fit her Finals MVP trophy into her stuff when she leaves for France this Saturday for another tour of duty.
“I don’t know how it’s (trophy) going to fit into my bag,” said Johnson, who with Cuban import Wilma Salas rallied the PetroGazz Angels from a 0-1 series deficit with a sweep of the last two games to foil the Cool Smashers’ bid for a third straight PVL championship and snatch the Reinforced Conference crown in Antipolo on Sunday.
“But, for sure, I’m going to put it in there,” added the 27-year-old hitter in jest.
“But it’s a great feeling. I mean, for me, awards, you know, aren’t what I always try to achieve, but when I win one, of course, I take it all to heart because for me, it’s a great accomplishment. I couldn’t have done it without my team,” added Johnson, who fired 23 points in sudden death, including the last two that ended the Cool Smashers’ reign while heralding the Angels’ rise to the PVL throne.
More than their imports’ power and experience, however, the Angels did rely on their cohesion all throughout the campaign, capped by their remarkable comeback in the finals, including a convincing 25-15, 28-30, 25-23, 25-19 victory before close to 6,000 fans at the Ynares Sports Center.
But while coach Arnold Laniog said that they prayed hard for the team’s first-ever crack at the crown, he credited their breakthrough to their teamwork and commitment.
For her part, Johnson, a product of California State U Long Beach who had won a title in France’s Ligue A with Beziers Volley last year, said she didn’t need to look far for motivation.
“Like I said before, I was doing it for the girls because I know what it feels like to win a championship, but the other girls don’t,” said Johnson. “So I wanted them to experience what I’ve experienced before.”
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