Unheralded player from Marinduque chases PVL dream

Unheralded player from Marinduque chases PVL dream

/ 08:37 PM June 25, 2024

Jamie Solina PVL Rookie Draft combine

Jamie Solina during the PVL Rookie Draft combine.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Unheralded setter Jamie Solina may not be coming from an NCAA or UAAP or any top school from Manila but it didn’t stop her from chasing her PVL dream all the way from Marinduque.

The 23-year-old playmaker from Marinduque State University came from a long volleyball journey before being part of the league’s historic first-ever 47-woman draft class in the rookie combine session on Tuesday at GameVille Ball Park in Mandaluyong City. 

“Nung elementary po ako hanggang Grade 9 po is dito po ako sa Maynila naglalaro po ako sa QC, tapos napunta po akong Caloocan, unexpected din po nangyari sa family namin kaya nag-two years ako sa Marinduque po. Then since sa sobrang pagmamahal ko po sa sports, and gusto ko maging pro po, nag-try out po ako, nag-senior high po ako sa Makati po. Paiba-iba po ako ng [school],” Solina told reporters after participating in the anthropometry for body measurements, as well as strength, jump, speed and agility, anaerobic, and speed endurance tests.


READ: Thea Gagate to be picked No. 1 by ZUS Coffee in PVL Rookie Draft

The PVL Draft wasn’t her first shot at her dream to play in Manila as she wanted to try her luck for a UAAP or NCAA team but the COVID-19 pandemic derailed her goal.

“Wala po akong nagawa since wala rin po ako gano’n kakilala. Kahit sa Marinduque pa rin po ako nag-college, tas walang women’s volleyball doon, to be honest, so puro ako self-training, four years po,” Solina said. “Kung ano lang po ‘yung naiwan sa aking experience nung junior high ako saka senior high na dalawang taon, ‘yun lang ‘yung ginamit ko all throughout nung college ko po para maging kondisyon pa rin po ‘yung katawan ko kahit wala po akong exposure sa malalaking competitions po.”

Although she didn’t play in the big leagues, the 5-foot-1 Solina has been asking players from Manila about proper training, which she applied to her workout back home.


“Nagtatanong po ako sa ibang players na naiwan ko dito sa (Maynila) kung ano pa po ‘yung mga workouts nila, ginagawa ko lang po mag-isa sa Marinduque. So sariling sikap po talaga,” Solina said. 

She may not have the caliber and experience compared to the 46 other aspirants, led by Alas Pilipinas stars Thea Gagate and Julia Coronel, but she still grabbed the opportunity with courage so she won’t have any regrets.


READ: PVL draft quality takes hit but quantity is promising

“May part po sa akin na pinaghihinaan po ako parang ngayon kasi siyempre ‘yung height po at mga kasama ko from NCAA and UAAP,” she said.

“Hindi ko po in-expect na ipo-post ‘yung list ng mga natanggap. Nabigla po ako doon sa mga kasama ko. So nag-doubt po talaga ako sa sarili ko na itutuloy ko pa ba? Kasi ‘yun ang lalakas talaga [ng mga kasama ko],” said Solina.

“Dahil sa mga kababayan ko po sa Marinduque at sa mga naging ka-team ko po and mga ibang coaches ko po, sabi nila is ituloy ko pa rin kasi ito na ‘yung opportunity na matagal ko na daw hinihintay. Doon ko na daw po ibuhos dito sa PVL Draft kahit ‘di ako ganun kakondisyon po kasi wala naman akong coach, wala po akong program na maayos. Sila po ‘yung nag-push sa akin na ituloy ko pa rin.”

More than her wish to be drafted on July 8 at Novotel, Solina hopes her entry and courage to compete with the top student-athletes in Manila will inspire the young generation in Marinduque to believe and gain more support in playing volleyball

“Kahit ano daw po mangyari andiyan pa rin sila sakin, ‘yun po ‘yung magiging starting ng province po namin sa Marinduque na tumapang po ‘yung mga batang manlalaro na sumubok din po sa Maynila,” she said.

Solina, who solicited her way to Manila and currently living in her friend’s house in Bacood, Sta. Mesa for the draft activities, bared that her biggest inspirations are Alas’ multi-awarded setter Jia De Guzman and three-time PVL MVP Alyssa Valdez.

“Noong kinonvert po ako na setter, matunog ‘yung pangalan niya nung college pa lang po siya. Nung nanood po siya sa ‘min sa Milo Best, isa po ako sa mga tumatakbo sa kaniya para magpa-picture,” she said. “Tapos pangalawa po si Alyssa Valdez. Kasi ano po, kasi isa po sa mga binigay sa aming foundation ‘pag magiging player po is attitude po talaga. Siya yung role model namin, down to earth po.”

Even before the draft, Solina went to the AVC Challenge Cup where she met De Guzman, who won the Best Setter and led Alas to a historic bronze medal.

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“Super fan po ako ng mga volleyball players sa UAAP. Since elementary po ako lagi po ako nanonood ng games. ‘Yung makita ko po sila na naglalaro sa court, sobrang naiiyak ako. Parang sobrang pagmamahal ko sa volleyball. Tapos nakikita ko sila naglalaro. Feeling ko naglalaro na din ako,” said Solina.

“’Yung pagiging fan ko po sa mga professional volleyball player, ‘yun din po ‘yung nakatulong sa akin para i-try po sumali dito sa PVL Draft. Kung magkaroon man po ng opportunity na matanggap po ako, paghihirapan ko naman po. Naniniwala naman po ako na lahat ng nangyayari, sa training din po talaga pino-program, inaayos.”


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