When Kath Arado became a free agent on January 1, finding the next destination was not that hard for her.
The reigning Premier Volleyball League Best Libero did not look anywhere else, signing with the PLDT Home Fibr High Speed Hitters. After all, she had to settle some unfinished business with Rhea Dimaculangan, Eli Soyud, and Chin Basas from 2020.
“To be honest, ang isang factor po na magdecide sa team ay yung makakasama ko dun, especially si Ate Rhea, si Ate Eli, at si Chin,” said the 23-year-old defensive specialist from Iligan City.
“Hindi magiging malaki yung adjustment ko sa team dahil kilala ko na sila kaya hindi ako nagdalawang isip na mapunta sa PLDT.”
Two years ago, Dimaculangan had joined Arado in Generika-Ayala in the Philippine Superliga.
However, just five games into the All-Filipino Conference, the league stopped due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Lifesavers had played just two games then, suffering losses to Petron and Cignal.
When Generika-Ayala disbanded, Dimaculangan went on to sign with PLDT while Arado joined Petro Gazz.
Despite the months that have passed since their partnership, Arado still had a lot of what-ifs if the pandemic had not happened.
“Nung sa amin nun, gusto talaga namin bumawi that time at bigyan ng magandang standing yung Generika nun,” she recalled. “Nung nagpandemic, hindi natuloy.
“Hindi man namin natuloy sa Generika, gusto namin sa PLDT matupad ito.”
Arado though is not resting on her laurels despite a great first season in the pro league.
And the 23-year-old defensive specialist is looking to improve more not just because she wants to make Dimaculangan’s life easier but also to help PLDT improve from its seventh-place finish last season.
“Sa akin, being a libero, madami pa kong gustong i-prove like yung bilis ko at more on yung maghabol ng bola at mag-receive,” she shared. “Iba kasi yung labanan kasi ngayon tulad ng mga hard ball at hard serve, yun yung kailangan ko tutukan.
“Gusto kong magfocus sa service receive ko lalo na sa PLDT dahil beterano yung setter ko para makagawa siya ng plays.
“Hoping din ako na bumalik ang PLDT sa top four,” she closed.