Thailand-native Jeng Bualee has played a pivotal role in molding Philippine Volleyball into what it is today.
The five-foot-ten open hitter made a name for herself playing as an import in the early days of the V-League. She’s put up legendary scoring performances and influenced several current player with her on-court bravery.
However, the 33-year old has never won a title in the Philippines, which considers a home away from home.
Returning after a four-year hiatus, Bualee may not have the same spring but her iconic passion for the sport is still boosting the Bali Pure Purest Water Defenders.
Bualee showed her perseverance after playing with a lot of baggage in Bali Pure’s win in Game One of the PVL semis against Creamline. She was not only nursing a painful right shoulder injury, Bualee was also mourning the death of her best friend’s mother who died after being by lightning in Thailand earlier this week.
“My shoulder very painful, masakit sobra. Because last game I played with Power Smashers and I played very gigil in the last set because our team played five sets and I really want to play that’s why I’m so gigil to spike every ball very hard,” Bualee recalled, admitting she has not sought medical attention.
“That’s why when I go home masakit na. After that I felt the effect every day, I thought it’s just outside but I feel inside pain talaga but I hope since I take good care of myself everyday I can make it well.”
As for her best friend’s mom, Bualee held back tears while remembering all the memories they shared.
“My very best friend, me and her are very close. Her mom is also very close to me she’s just like my mom. She died because of the rain there was lightning that’s why we are shocked,” the hard-hitting spiker reflected.
“She called me and she was crying I thought something hit her. But no! She told me that her mom passed away. Just last month before I came [here] we went to her province for a visit and she [best friend’s mom] she cooked for me a lot and that’s my I’m so sad and she also. We communicate everyday me and her mom,” she furthered.
Despite not being a hundred percent both physically and emotionally, Bualee’s focus remains on trying to win a title in the Philippines as her career winds down.
“All the time that I come her in the Philippines, I’m happy to play! I want to put something that I learned in Thailand,” the open spiker for Bali Pure said. “That’s why sometimes I pout my emotion and show it on the game but it’s not really the last time [that I will play]. If I can still play, I will play. If there will be a team that will get me, I will play. But maybe if there’s no more team that will get me, I will stop.
“Because I stopped coming here for four years no? Only this time because I miss Philippines talaga and I really want to come back.”