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Ex-teammates Maraño, Gumabao happy for each other’s growth

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It seemed like a faded memory when Abigail Maraño and Michele Gumabao spearheaded the dominant DLSU volleyball teams during their collegiate days. As a matter of fact, La Salle’s fearless two-punch procured three Best blocker awards and three MVP plums during those times.

Time went by, and they have once again found themselves playing on the same team heading into the pro leagues. When both of them entered the 2014 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix, they immediately reunited, donning the colors of the Generika Lifesavers.

A lot of things have changed this time, for they began to expand their horizons and followed their own separate paths.

On the opening day of the 2015 PSL All-Filipino conference held at the Mall of Asia Arena, the two finally faced each other for the very first time.

Their matchup concluded with Maraño and the Petron Blaze Lady Spikers successfully outshining Gumabao’s Philips Gold Lady Slammers in straight sets, 25-16, 25-18, 25-23.

In her first game for Petron, Maraño chipped in six points and three digs while Gumabao registered eight points, five digs and one block in her Philips Gold debut.

However, digging deeper and throwing out every piece of statistical data, both players indicated one positive note about each other: their possible growth beyond their comfort zones.

“I’m really happy na nakahanap kami ng kanya-kanyang team where we excel in and where we want to play for,” shared Gumabao when asked about her thoughts in facing her former teammate. “We’ll always going to be teammates by heart and siguro now we’re better off in separate teams.”

On the other hand, Maraño also shared a similar sentiment in facing her long-time teammate.

“Parang feel ko lang nagkikipagtune-up ako sa mga [former] teammates ko,” Maraño quipped. “I think this is also another way for us to grow as athletes. Parang umalis kami sa comfort zone namin at malaman namin bawat isa kung ano ang dapat namin gawin without our [college] coach that molded us.”

For their next game, Maraño and the Petron Blaze Spikers will face the upstart Foton Tornadoes this Thursday, 4:15 pm, at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna while Gumabao and the Philips Gold Lady Slammers set their sights against the Shopinas.com Lady Clickers this coming March 29, 2:30 pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

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