PVL: Jovelyn Gonzaga inspired by veteran teammates as she gets her groove back
MANILA, Philippines — As Jovelyn Gonzaga continues to adjust in her return to the Cignal HD Spikers and in the Premier Volleyball League, she attributed her familiarity to her best friend Rachel Anne Daquis and coach Shaq Delos Santos for making her transition easier.
The veteran opposite spiker bucked a sluggish start in her homecoming as an HD Spiker as she finished with 13 points, 20 digs, and six excellent receptions in Cignal’s 18-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-22 win over Petro Gazz in Pool B of the Invitational Conference last Tuesday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
It was fulfilling for the Army sergeant to play for Cignal after three years and return to indoor action after skipping the first conference due to her commitment to the Philippine women’s beach volleyball team in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.
“It’s such a good feeling and really fulfilling to play again for Cignal. Like what coach Shaq said, we’re prepared, everything has been fed to us. I’m excited to play the way our coaches taught us,” Gonzaga said in Filipino
But it wasn’t easy as she struggled in the first two sets before finding her groove.
“In the first set, I really struggled, even in the second set it took time for me to heat up. But I realized that I have to step up because I promised my team that I will be there whenever they need me,” Gonzaga also said.
“That’s why I am thankful for coach Shaq because he trusted me even I struggled in the first two sets and he was there to remind me that they need my leadership inside the court.”
Gonzaga said seeing former national teammate Ces Molina turning in 22 points and her longtime friend Daquis giving it all on the floor with three points despite limited action lit a fire under her.
“It feels good to be surrounded by teammates, who will keep on fighting and will be there for you. Every time I look around the court, I see Ces fighting and Rachel, who never stopped leading us,” Gonzaga said.
“What’s good on our team is coach Shaq knows who will step up in any kind of situation. So when he fielded Rachel, she really stepped up. That’s what I missed the most, playing with Rachel inside the court.”
Gonzaga is eager to continue stepping up for the HD Spikers as they will be tested by fellow opening day winners, the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, on Saturday, 6:30 p.m., at the same venue in San Juan City.