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Dindin Manabat keeping patient in climb back to top shape

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Hours before the Foton Tornadoes took on the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors in the 2017 Chooks-to-Go Philippine Superliga Grand Prix, Dindin Santiago-Manabat entered the dimly lit court.

Holding her husband’s hands, the famed spiker prayed silently over a spot on the court. On that spot last February in the Inivitational Cup, Manabat had landed awkwardly and torn an ACL.

After missing the entire All-Filipino Cup and Grand Prix elimination round, Manabat was finally cleared to play.

But it didn’t mean she was ready to go back to her full, hard-hitting form.

“Gusto ko lang din kasi na idasal na tapos na ako sa part ng life ko na ‘yon,” Manabat shared to Tiebreaker Times about her personal moment before Foton beat Sta. Lucia and advanced to the semifinals.

“Dahil doon sa spot na ‘yun ako na-injure, gusto ko lang siya i-bless na tapos na ‘yung phase na ‘yun. Move on na tayo sa next challenges in life.”

Manabat played bit minutes against Sta. Lucia and did not record a single point. Still, she was elated to finally get on her toes after months of anxious waiting on the sidelines.

“Masaya pero kakaiba pa. Siyempre, pinapakiramdaman ko pa ‘yung sarili ko. Iba pa rin ‘yung game sa training. Kung sa training ok ako, sa game kailangan ko pang tantsahin pa.

“Siguro ready na ako maglaro nang mas matagal, pero kulang pa sa kumpiyansa. Kaya siguro ako pinasok ni coach (Moro Branislav) kanina,” she added.

Despite missing a chunk of her career, Manabat was still thankful for the lessons she learned both physically and mentally during rehab.

“Patience, talaga. Kailangan kong tiyagain ‘yung proseso. Kailangan kong palakasin ng paunti-unti ‘yung sarili ko,” the towering blocker expresssed.

“Process siya na kailangan mo talaga tahakin lahat ng steps, hindi pwedeng madaliin.”

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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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