Angel Canino excited to see Jolina Dela Cruz, Mars Alba thrive in the pros
MANILA, Philippines — Angel Canino said she can’t wait for Jolina Dela Cruz and Mars Alba to showcase their talents in the professional ranks as they play for F2 Logistics in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference this June.
After ending La Salle’s five-year title drought in their final season in the UAAP, Dela Cruz and Alba joined the Cargo Movers, who are seeking to surpass their third-place finish last All-Filipino Conference.
Although the graduating pair could still be eligible in the UAAP next season, they both decided to move forward. And rookie MVP Canino fully supports them in the next chapter of their careers.
“I’m happy and proud that they’ve turned pro,” said Canino in Filipino. “A lot more people will know and recognize their skills and characteristics.”
Canino, who spelled the difference for the Lady Spikers in Season 85, was proud of Dela Cruz and Alba after the pair saved the best for last and won a championship in the UAAP before turning pro.
“I’m proud of my Ates, they’ve achieved so much in life especially in volleyball. I know what they went through, their ups and downs in volleyball,” she said.
The La Salle graduating players made their debut in 2019 but got eliminated by the Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure-led University of Santo Tomas in the Final Four of Season 81 before the following year was wiped out by the pandemic.
The Lady Spikers got swept by the National University Lady Bulldogs in Season 84 for their first title in 65 years. But Dela Cruz and Alba made sure to exact sweet revenge as they joined hands with Canino to deliver La Salle’s 12th title.
Dela Cruz played her best season this year as she emerged as the 1st Best Outside Spiker and became runner-up to Canino for the MVP award.
Alba was hailed as the Finals MVP and Best Setter for the Lady Spikers.
As the senior duo bid farewell, Canino is expected to lead the charge in their title-retention bid next year with Thea Gagate, Fifi Sharma, Shevana Laput, and Alleiah Malaluan.