Milena Alessandrini will miss University of Santo Tomas’ campaign once again, this time in the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
Alessandrini is still recuperating from a partial tear on her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee; as well as a Grade 3 sprain of the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) in the same joint, which she incurred back in Season 81.
The same string of injuries sidelined her in the 2019 PVL Collegiate Conference and UniGames, keeping her out of the playing field for almost 11 months now.
But instead of taking such a development as a blow to their morale, the Golden Tigresses are using it as motivation in their road to redemption.
“Since nu’ng training camp pa lang nu’ng nalaman namin na ‘di na makakalaro si Ate Amiga, sobrang nagdo-double time lahat ng outside namin — kaming mga outside — para punan ang slot na naiwan ni Ate Amiga,” Eya Laure said of the 6-foot-1 Fil-Italian, who normed 15.6 points per match last season.
Laure also bared that Alessandrini has a positive disposition while steadily working her way back into shape.
“Si Ate Amiga naman nu’ng nakausap ko siya, positive naman siya na makakabalik siya.
“Nandoon pa rin naman siya sa progress ng pag-recover niya, and sabi ko naman sa kanya, hihintayin ko siya. ‘Wag lang siya ma-frustrate or something na negative na ikahihila niya pababa,” the 5-foot-10 outside hitter shared.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Golden Tigresses are by her side every step of the way.
As the Season 81 Rookie of the Year put it, “Nandito pa rin kaming team and UST to help her and support her na makabalik ulit siya sa playing form niya for next season.”
In retrospect, Laure and the Golden Tigresses encountered a similar predicament a year ago when Tin Francisco suffered a knee injury in their preparation for the collegiate wars.
Still, UST ended up using that and Alessandrini’s season-ending injury as fuel to barge into the age-old league’s Finals for the first time since 2011, and provide UST with silver hardware.
“Actually parang similar lang last year. Si Ate Tin, nu’ng na-ACL [injury] din siya unexpected din ‘yun,” Laure recounted.
“Sobra kaming nalungkot pero more on mas na-motivate kami kung paano pupunan ang naiwan niyang slot doon.
She then continued, “Kahit papaano naman nag-step up ang lahat. Gumawa ng paraan ang lahat. Kumbaga team effort kasi ‘yung nangyari last year din, and hopefully ngayong year team effort pa rin.”