PVL: Akari's Max Juangco taking pressure of her pro debut in stride

PVL: Akari’s Max Juangco taking pressure of her pro debut in stride

/ 08:34 PM February 09, 2024

Akari Chargers' Max Juangco  PVL

Akari Chargers’ Max Juangco in the Akari Invitational Cup.

MANILA, Philippines — Max Juangco embraces the challenge of trying to fill in the shoes of libero Justine Jazareno in her upcoming professional debut with the Akari Chargers in the 2024 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference, which opens on February 20.

Weeks before the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, the Far Eastern University libero decided to turn pro and play for the Chargers, who won’t have Jazareno indefinitely after she announced her  pregnancy.

The 22-year-old Juangco, who already played for her pro team in the Akari Invitational Cup,  knows that jumping into the pros will not be easy and so is filling in the void left by the former La Salle stalwart.

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“Really big shoes to fill in but [I have to deal with it]. No pressure at all,” said the rookie libero in Filipino. “Coach Raffy [Mosuela] told me to just play your game and enjoy. And it’s a big factor that my Ates have been talking to me and guiding me, making me feel that I’m not just 22 [years old].”

Juangco, who played in the last two UAAP seasons, has still at least a playing year left with FEU but she decided to join Akari, “seeking personal growth and stepping outside of her comfort zone.”

The defensive specialist said she’s lucky to have veteran libero Bang Pineda been guiding her as well as her fellow newcomer Grethcel Soltones at the Chargers side. And having the same system of interim coach Raffy Mosuela with FEU makes it easier for her.

“I’m happy because when I came here it’s not that hard because Akari and FEU almost have the same system so it was little-to-no adjustments at all. I’m so lucky because my teammates are welcoming,” Juangco said.

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“I get anxious when I have self-doubts because this is not just an ordinary world of volleyball, this is in the pros but my teammates were huge factors in helping me overcome my doubts.”

Juangco will reunite with former FEU coach Tina Salak, who will be part of Mosuela’s coaching staff, and she hopes that she and her mentor will have a successful stint in the pros.

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“Coach T is really strict and I don’t know if she will bring it to the pros. But I’m excited to be with her and more than that I want to achieve victories with her, representing Akari this time,” she said.

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TAGS: Akari Chargers, Max Juangco, PVL

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