When the Cignal HD Spikers were clawing their way back from a two-set mire in Game One of the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Finals last Saturday, F2 Logistics captain Aby Maraño suddenly lost the one trait that she has always been known for — confidence.
“Honestly sa player’s side, madami kaming pinapasalamat kasi nawala kami noong third and fourth set e. Nawalan kaming kumpiyansa,” the 5-foot-9 middle blocker bared.
“Personally ako, nawalan ako ng kumpiyansa, nakalimutan ko ‘yung kaya kong gawin.”
Maraño and her Cargo Movers were in control in the first and second sets of the match, so much so that they were on pace to wrap it all up in straight-set fashion.
However, the HD Spikers dug deep and stormed back, whittling away the huge deficit to extend the match that the Cargo Movers seemed to have in hand into a decisive fifth set.
In the midst of a searing surge from Cignal, the seven-time PSL Best Blocker lost faith in herself. Fortunately, F2 Logistics head coach Ramil De Jesus snapped her back to her senses.
“Actually, nada-down nga ako e pero si Coach [Ramil] talaga ‘yung nag-motivate sa akin talaga, promise. Ni-remind niya na ikaw ‘yung captain diyan sa loob, ‘di ka pwedeng makitaan ng kasama mo ng ganiyan,” Maraño recalled.
Reminded of her responsibility as the leader of F2 Logistics, the 26-year-old rallied the rest of the Cargo Movers, prompting them to keep the faith in the face of adversity.
Admittedly, though, Maraño was still grasping at straws despite a nudge from De Jesus. In search of encouragement, she turned to her sisters-in-arms.
“Sinabi ko kaagad sa teammates ko na wag sila sumunod sa akin, wag silang mahawa sa akin,” she bared. “At the same time, humingi din ako ng tulong. Sabi ko, kailangan ko ng tulong, tulungan niyo ko mabalik ‘yung confidence ko.”
She then continued, “So, tulungan din ‘yung nangyari sa loob — from the coaching staff to the players na mabigay ‘yung kumpiyansa ng bawat isa para mabalik namin ‘yung rhythm namin and come fifth set, naging effective lahat.”
The Cargo Movers regained their footing just in time in the rubber set, stopping the streaking HD Spikers in their tracks to step closer to the championship.
With a title within sight, Maraño and her F2 Logistics will get back to the drawing board as they look to capture the title in Game Two on Tuesday.
“Pag aralan namin ‘yung laro namin at ma-improve pa namin ‘yung sarili namin para hindi namin mabigyan ng heart attack sila coach kapag naglalaro kami,” she said. “At tsaka, sabi rin ni coach, pinaghihirapan din ng Cignal so para sa amin, ita-take namin ‘yung challenge na hindi magiging madali na makuha namin ‘to.
“So, paghihirapan din namin.”