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Balse-Pabayo had thoughts of retiring last year

BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — Ging Balse was part of the University of Santo Tomas team that competed in the second year of the Shakey’s V-League.

Sixteen years later, she is now a professional player.

It almost did not happen, though. The now-Mrs. Pabayo admitted that she already thought of hanging her sneakers, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic put the entire sporting world to a halt.

But after months of thinking, the love for the sport prevailed.

“Happy ako kasi hanggang ngayon nandito pa rin ako sa Lady Troopers. Kasi nung una talaga, parang nag-give up na ko, parang hindi muna ako maglaro ganun,” said Balse-Pabayo following Army’s win against BaliPure.

“Pero nung time na yun hindi nawala sa akin ‘yung pagvo-volleyball ko, parang dugo na talaga sa akin. Nag-try ako mag-training muna tapos biglang niline up ako ni coach [Kungfu Reyes]. Sabi ko. ‘Sige, challenge ‘to kung kaya ko pa naman sarili ko ng katawan ko, ng isip ko. Go ako.'”

On Tuesday night, one of the best spikers that the Philippines has ever produced showed that she still has a few left in the tank to compete against the league’s younger players.

2021-PVL-Open-Black-Mamba-Army-vs-BaliPure-Mean-Esguerra-x-Ging-Balse-Pabayo Balse-Pabayo had thoughts of retiring last year News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Against a much quicker BaliPure squad, Balse-Pabayo delivered two consecutive kills in the fourth set. She helped the Lady Troopers close out the Water Defenders, 25-16, 25-27, 25-21, 26-24, for their first win in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.

She finished with nine points in the victory.

“Ginawa ko lang ‘yung best siguro matagal na tayo naglalaro kumbaga ano na ‘yung gamay mo. Hindi naman sila nagdadalawang isip na [ibigay yung bola]. Parang ang gaan. Matagal na kami magkakakilala, alam na namin ‘yung galaw ng isa’t isa. Kaya kumapit talaga kami kanina kasi nga nagoff kami nung natalo ng set,” bared Balse-Pabayo, a native of Panabo, Davao.

“Hangga’t kung ano makakaya kong matulong sa mga bata. Ngayon ‘di naman one hundred percent na physically fit na dalhin ‘yung lakas ko or mabilis. Ang tulong ko lang is ‘yung konting tulong na kailangan nila, gagawin ko ‘yung best ko para makatulong sa kanila.”

Now at the twilight of her very decorated career, Balse-Pabayo is just glad to be part of the first-ever professional league in the country.

#ReadMore  Banchero vows to be back come playoff time

Moreover, she’s grateful for the opportunity to be able to compete against the best of the next generation.

“Sobrang saya kasi biglang dinagdagan ulit ngayon ‘yung PVL na naging professional na siya ‘yung tipong, ‘yung mga PSL teams nasa PVL na. Ito na ‘yung start ng volleyball paunti-unti. Para ‘yung mga bagong batang gusto pumasok sa volleyball sana tuloy-tuloy na ‘to,” said the UST legend.

“Mas challenging ngayon sobra kasi maraming batang malalakas pa sa’tin. Siyempre, dati ibang iba. Pero ako naman masaya ako kasi gusto ko ‘yung malalakas na kalaban, challenge ‘yan para sa sarili mo para sa team namin.”

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