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Intense, challenging practices paying off for Maraño, Philippine team

/ 03:05 PM September 22, 2019
Philippines asean grand prix

Photo courtesy of Aby Maraño

NAKHON Ratchasima, Thailand — In the middle of training here, one would overhear members of the Philippine national women’s volleyball team screaming catchphrases like “We want to improve.”

Sometimes “confidence in passing,” would ring in the quiet gym. Or “Improve. Be better.”

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For the 14-member squad currently here for the Asean Grand Prix, it’s one way to vent out their tiredness and frustrations.

“We are training twice a day every day, sometimes you feel your body shutting down because of exhaustion,” team captain Aby Maraño told the Inquirer. “Sometimes you need to shout. And then boom.”

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More often, she said, the team gets the second wind they needed. “Suddenly, our adrenalin is high and energy is there to finish the training.”

As team leader, Maraño reported the quickness with which the team developed chemistry. The camaraderie is “sobrang okay” (Really great),” said the top hitter of Philippine Superliga champion team F2 Logistics.

During scrimmages among teammates, there was no telling who were the first six and who were the second.

“The rallies are long we get tired. It’s not easy to score. That only means we challenge each other,” said Maraño.

“If I have the say, I would like to keep this team together until the SEA Games,” she said. “But we have responsibilities back home with our club teams.”

Personally, the former La Salle standout said she prefers having the team quartered “to free us from distractions,” or even training on Sundays.

For the four-nation Asean GP, Maraño said the team has a collective mindset: “We want to give it our all no matter what it takes.”

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Maraño and the rest of the squad go all out against Vietnam on Sunday in hopes to end the country’s campaign on a winning note after dropping its first two games against Indonesia and Thailand.

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TAGS: aby marano, Asean Grand Prix, Philippines, Volleyball
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