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Cherry Nunag: That girl from the other La Salle

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Playing in any collegiate league other than the UAAP or NCAA means obscurity for most athletes with the exception of the truly transcendant. But, the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference has given the chance for non-household names like Cherry Nunag an opportunity to really make a name for themselves.

Nunag, DLSU-Dasmariñas’ star middle blocker, has been turning heads in her first two games of the season. Nunag made her V-League debut in 2013 and has made impressive strides with her game since then. Cherry is a laterally quick, vertically capable, long-armed wunderkind. She covers the net marvelously and has an arsenal of attacks wider than most middle blockers in the UAAP and NCAA.

In her first two games this season, Nunag has led her team in scoring each time, dropping 17 in five sets against the TIP Lady Engineers then out-performing her middle blocker matchups against the UST Tigresses with 11 points in four sets. However, the Lady Patriots lost in both outings and admittedly, the losses have taken a toll on Nunag and the rest of the Lady Patriots, who have won three National Capital Region Athletics Association (NCRAA) championships in the past four years.

“Actually hindi namin iniisip kung sino ‘yung kalaban. Ang focus namin is manalo. Regardless kahit gaano pa sabihin ng ibang tao na mas malakas sa amin ‘yung kalaban namin. Ang problema lang is medyo marami pang bago sa team na hindi sanay sa ganitong tournament na malaki, so kailangan talaga masanay pa,” the fifth-year spiker told Tiebreaker Times.

Regardless of their dismal start, Nunag and the Lady Patriots are still determined to get as many wins as they can. “Ang goal pa ‘rin is manalo and mag-improve bawat game. Lalo na sa next game namin, against Ateneo, mahihirapan talaga kami. Magiging test sa amin kung paano namin i-hahandle ‘yung game,” added Nunag.

When asked about her post-college plans, Cherry Nunag is still unsure whether she’ll pursue a professional career even though the local women’s volleyball scene has been sprawling lately with the emergence of multiple professional leagues and tournaments. “Sa ngayon malayo pa sa isip ko ‘yung gagawin ko after college. Gusto ko lang talaga na maiwan ‘yung school namin na may championship tapos malakas ‘yung team sa last year ko,” she closed.

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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