Alex Eala is still a superstar in “The Heart of Volleyball.”
The 18-year-old Filipina tennis prodigy was part of the Philippine volleyball record crowd of 25,459 inside the SMART Araneta Coliseum for Game 2 of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League 2nd All-Filipino Conference Finals pitting Creamline and Choco Mucho on Saturday night.
And although tennis was not as popular in the Philippines as volleyball and basketball, Eala was surprised that fans lined up to take a picture with her and have some items signed by her.
“I’m quite surprised that people know who I am here lalo na kasi siyempre puro volleyball,” said the two-time Asian Games bronze medalist and 2022 US Open Girls’ winner who has the same physical therapist as the Cool Smashers in Haree Rañeses.
“I’m happy to see that people are also following tennis and it really shows that my work also kind of makes a difference within Philippine sports and it’s just nice to see. I’m very happy happy and flattered that more people now are following my journey,” continued the wunderkind.
Volleyball wasn’t as popular before but slowly, the sport rose and became as well-received, if not more popular, than basketball.
“I didn’t know what to expect going into the game but I’m so happy that this sport is very alive within the Philippine community and nakaka-inspire,” said Eala.
“Siyempre for tennis sana one day pangarap ko rin na maging ganito yung atmosphere of tennis.”
Eala is currently gearing up for the upcoming Australian Open which starts January 8 next year.