Ces Molina’s consistency led Cignal to a bronze finish in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference.
Embracing her role as the HD Spikers’ main weapon, Molina not only delivered the squad’s third bronze medal but also won her first-ever MVP award in her professional volleyball career.
The 28-year-old native of Nueva Ecija knows that the award comes with added pressure to perform even better, but Molina sees this as added motivation and another reason to improve come the next PVL conference.
“Siyempre malaking inspiration and siyempre pressure din po ito. Siyempre lahat ng tao mageexpect na ‘to and siyempre hahanapan ka na lagi ng results.
“Kailangan lang po talaga na unang una, hindi lumaki yung ulo ko dahil dito sa award na to, and for 13 years na naglalaro ako, it’s my first MVP dito sa mga major league na nilaruan ko. Tuloy-tuloy lang yung trabaho hanggang sa next conference,” said Molina, who paced Cignal with 19 points on 17 attacks, one block, and an ace in their win against F2 Logistics in the battle for third.
The newly-crowned MVP credited Cignal head coach Shaq Delos Santos’ trust in her talent, saying that it played a crucial role in both her and the team’s success in the Invitationals.
“Hindi ko po alam na MVP ako, oh my god. Akala ko talaga outside spiker ako kanina. Super happy ako and grateful kasi hindi ko naman ‘to magagawa lahat kung wala yung tulong and pagpupursige ng teammates ko and coaches namin,” shared an emotional Molina.
The path of the HD Spikers towards the bronze medal was not easy, as the former national team standout bared, having to face powerhouse teams like F2 Logistics, Choco Mucho, and Petro Gazz in the eliminations, while dealing with two foreign teams in Japan’s Kurashiki and Vietnam’s Kinh Bac in the semifinals.
Despite missing out on a championship due to a high road they needed to take in the Invitational, Molina remained proud of Cignal’s fight that ultimately led them to a podium finish.
“Talagang hindi naging madali sa amin itong conference na ito kasi unang una sa lahat may foreign team na nakapasok and talagang binigay namin yung best namin para sa conference na ito,” shared Molina.
“Nag-fall short kami pero pasok pa rin kami sa podium. Sobrang happy ng team namin and ienjoy lang namin yung panalo na ‘to and babalik ulit kami sa trabaho. Iba nanaman yung focus next conference,” added Molina, a two-time Best Outside Hitter awardee.
(Ernest Martin Tuazon)