La Salle’s Angel Canino raring for return after long hiatus
MANILA, Philippines—Angel Canino is raring to make her debut as a De La Salle Lady Spiker after missing action for the past three years.
“I’m super excited because it will be my first time to play with my ates in front of many people,” Canino told reporters in Filipino after the opening ceremony of the Shakey’s Super League on Saturday at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
“I didn’t play for almost three years because of the pandemic. I’m really excited because this is a special moment for me, my teammates, and also our coaches,” she added.
The 2018 UAAP Season 81 girls’ MVP has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury in the following year, where La Salle-Zobel failed to defend its title as Nazareth School of National University reclaimed its glory.
Then, the pandemic happened that kept the former high school star from competitive volleyball for an extended period of time.
Weeks before the SSL, Canino hit another snag after she suffered a right ankle sprain in practice. But she said she is “doing well and can play” as La Salle opens its Pool D campaign against Far Eastern University, which beat NCAA champion College of Saint Benilde, on October 1.
Although she came from long overdue inactivity, the 19-year-old said her transition from La Salle Zobel to Taft has been smooth with her approachable teammates Jolina Dela Cruz, Mars Alba, Alleiah Malaluan, and Thea Gagate.
“It was really a smooth transition from Zobel to DLSU because my ates and coaches are very approachable,” Canino said. “Every time there’s a problem or trouble inside the court, it’s easy to talk and communicate with them.”
The 5-foot-11 spiker from Bacolod is eyeing winning a championship in her first tournament as a Lady Spiker in the Shakey’s Super League. But they have to work on their chemistry first.
“Our goal as a team is to become the champion. We have to jell since we’re a new team and we lost a lot of players from the past Season 84,” Canino said. “I want to contribute to my team.”
La Salle, which settled for a silver medal finish in the UAAP Season 84, is grouped in Pool D with FEU, coached by Canino’s former high school head coach Tina Salak, NCAA champion St. Benilde, and Letran. Only the top two squads from each group will advance to the next round.
“I am looking forward to facing all the schools. Because I rarely watch and play against them, especially the NCAA teams. This is a new (environment) for me so I’m looking forward to it,” Canino said.