The on-going pandemic has made Illa Santos-Ng much closer to her family, especially her son and daughter.
That is why when the brass of Choco Mucho asked her if she wanted to join the Flying Titans’ 2021 Premier Volleyball League campaign.
With the PVL being held inside a bubble at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, Santos-Ng did not consult an agent nor any of her friends with regards to it. She immediately talked to her son.
“Last year, around second week of December, tumawag na yung management to renew our contracts. That time may rumors na rin na magkaka-bubble. Hindi na ko nagdalawang isip because alam niyo naman, one of the reasons na bumalik ako is because of my son. He wants to see me play,” she recalled during an episode of Off The Record with Migs and Cesca.
“Tapos inexplain ko sa kanya, ‘What if next season is in a bubble?’ Sabi niya, ‘Capital N-O, no! I will talk to them dahil hindi kita papayagan.”“
With that, the 5-foot-4 spiker decided to pass on joining Choco Mucho this year.
Besides her son not allowing her to join the Flying Titans, Santos-Ng shared that it would not have been fair to her team if she is not one-hundred percent focused during the two months they will spend inside the Calambubble.
“Hindi na ko nagdalawang isip dahil kahit ngayon na lagi kami magkakasama, ang bilis nilang lumaki. How much more kung nasa bubble ako? Yung utak ko nasa bahay even if I’m there physically. Unfair naman sa team ko. Kaya hindi ako natuloy sa tournament na ito,” she continued.
Everything changed for the La Salle legend during the pandemic.
First off, Santos-Ng found her green thumb during the past year. Moreover, she became much closer to her kids.
“Alam mo malaking pagbabago since pandemic. Yung mga kids ko, mahirap for their part kasi after doing their task, wala na sila magawa sa bahay. Gadget na lang sila. I am here to limit it properly,” she bared.
“Yung time ko rin, napansin ko they are demanding more of my time, always saying, ‘Mommy, look!’ Look na pangalan ko dito.”
Of course, the competitive spirit of Santos-Ng is still there especially after their seventh-place finish back in 2019.
That is why when everything clears up, Santos-Ng hopes that she can rejoin Choco Mucho once again.
“It was both fun and challenging.
“Fun because I get to play the present athletes. Hindi lang sila matatangkad dahil very agile. Mas mataas yung level of play ngayon. It just so happened that Choco Mucho was relatively new at that time. Hindi pa kami nagje-jell. Isa yun ang challenge na naramdaman namin. Kulang lang siguro sa time,” she said.