F2 Logistics’ Iris Tolenada and Majoy Baron are hoping that their next journey will lead them to Korea.
Along with Creamline setter Jia De Guzman, Chery Tiggo spiker Mylene Paat, and Akari blocker Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Tolenada and Baron are part of the 24-player pool for the Asian Players Quota draft of the Korean Volleyball League.
The Cargo Movers pair said that playing internationally has always been their goal, which is why they are really glad to finally have the opportunity to move closer to that dream.
“I think it’s exciting. I think every volleyball player who continues to have big dreams should do it anyway. Any athlete, anyone who wants to dream big should go for their dream and see what happens,” said Tolenada, a product of San Francisco State.
“Gaya ng sinabi ni Iris, syempre dream pa din namin, so parang next step na ‘yun for us na makapaglaro internationally. Hangga’t may opportunity na dumarating, why not kunin kasi ‘di natin alam hanggang kailan may nagiintay sa atin, so excited ako if ever,” echoed Baron, whose stint with Taiwan’s Top Seed was aborted due to the pandemic.
According to Baron, it was Jaja Santiago’s manager who reached out to her to apply for the KVL Asian Quota, while Tolenada was convinced by her manager Vania Edralin to throw her name into the pool and try her luck overseas.
“Ininvite lang din po kami nung… yung sakin po manager ni Jaja [Santiago] yung nag-reach out apply for the KOVO lineup,” the F2 Logistics middle blocker said.
“For me, my manager Vania kinda pushed me to do it. I think Majoy and I have worked hard. I think everyone who applied has worked hard all their careers, so it’s just an opportunity, and as an opportunist, I think it’s exciting,” added the backup setter.
Aside from fulfilling their respective dreams, both players agreed that their inclusion in the Asian Quota pool will help Filipino players realize that there are more volleyball opportunities not just in the country but internationally as well.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for Philippine volleyball players to understand there is more out there. Me being a FilAm, I already know there’s a different environment in the volleyball world. But again, I think the greatest athletes and anyone who wants to continue improving their career should go for it no matter what,” said Tolenada.
“It’s also a great life experience outside volleyball. You get to experience different cultures, different foods, and pursue more things in life.”