CAGAYAN DE ORO – Erika Raagas was overwhelmed by the love and support showered upon her by family and fellow Cagayanons during her homecoming at the Aquilino Q. Pimentel International Convention Center here on Saturday.
Raagas had the opportunity to play in the City of Friendship for the first time since moving to Manila to suit up for the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles in the UAAP several years ago.
“Super, super humbling to see the people I grew up with, the people who supported me from the very beginning so it’s very parang ang gaan ng heart ko na bumalik dito,” said Raagas, who shared that more than 80 people, including family and friends, came to the arena to support her and the Chargers.
“Right now, I feel they’re like over 80. Nasa outside (yung iba) kasi sa patron pa lang I think there are 26 of them and then sa taas mga 50 na and then there’s some who bought (tickets) on their own pa so I don’t know the exact number,” she continued.
The 5-foot-7 opposite hitter struggled to find her rhythm against Gerflor but still managed to contribute five points in Akari’s 25-18, 25-15, 25-19 win over the Defenders, snapping their three-game losing skid.
Raagas revealed that she wanted to show her family and the rest of the Cagayanons the player she has become and repay their undying support, which helped her reach where she is today.
“Excited. Sobrang na-excite ako. I knew that this would be one of the chances na some of my family members could finally watch me play since I moved to Manila, especially my grandparents kasi they’ve always supported me from the very beginning. So super super happy to be here,” said the 23-year-old, who attended high school at nearby Corpus Christi.
“I want to show them din the person that I’ve become. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them so taos puso akong nagpapasalamat sa mga tao dito,” she added.
Aside from seeing her family and friends, Raagas was also glad to witness the Chargers end their losing streak in the Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference.
The former Ateneo standout said that the team must continue to look forward and learn from their past mistakes if they want to strengthen their chance of making it to the playoffs.
“We’re going to take this one game at a time kasi we know, since the very beginning naman, every single game is just as important as the last,” said Raagas.
“Instead of parang looking back and saying na sayang yung mga games, we’re gonna look forward and see na we still have a fighting chance. Look straight lang, focus on ourselves, and see where we went wrong sa past and work on it even more.”