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Injury-stricken or not, Kalei Mau wants to be on the court for F2

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Tiebreaker Times Injury-stricken or not, Kalei Mau wants to be on the court for F2 News PSL Volleyball  Ramil De Jesus Kalei Mau F2 Logistics Cargo Movers 2019 PSL Season 2019 PSL Invitational Cup
Photo by Roman Prospero/PSL

Kalei Mau had spent weeks away from the playing field due to a worn-out Achilles, but after she returned to action, she performed as if she’d never left.

“The mindset is actually not to even focus so much on my foot, and just focus on my game. If I tell myself that I got to play, that I’m a hundred percent, I’m going to play hundred-percent,” Mau bared.

“I can’t have no pity for myself. I can’t say, ‘Ouch, ouch’ because there’s nowhere else I want to be but on that court.”

Following a team-high 12-point outing against Sta. Lucia two days ago, the Fil-Hawaiian sensation again looked every inch the ace hitter of the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers on Tuesday evening.

In the face of the dangerous Cignal HD Spikers, Mau exploded for 23 points built on 21 attacks, a kill block, and an ace. She led all scorers in the knockout semifinals of the 2019 PSL Invitationals’ Cup. She also shouldered a bulk of the defensive duties with 24 excellent digs.

But though the national team stalwart churned out a massive production for F2 Logistics, head coach Ramil De Jesus pointed out that his prized outside hitter still has a few rough edges to her game while playing alongside Kim Fajardo and the rest of the Cargo Movers.

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“Actually medyo nag-struggle ‘yung team kasi ‘yung familiarity ni Kalei at nung setter, medyo hirap eh,” De Jesus said. “Matagal din kasing na-stop si Kalei eh. Makikita mo na medyo gulat sa bola. Nawala ‘yung ball control, although nakakatapat siya sa bola. Pero nawala ‘yung confidence sa sarili.

“Alam naman natin na ‘pag matagal na recovery, medyo nawawala.”

The 6-foot-2 outside hitter acknowledged her mentor’s comments. She mentioned that her role in De Jesus’ system has been a work in progress ever since she returned to the fold.

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“You know, I’m kind of getting back in the groove. Kim and I, we had a little burst of our good connection that we finished with last season. But granted, I haven’t really had a full practice with my team yet, [so] hats off to my girls,” she expressed.

“They took a lot of load off of me knowing that I’m coming off injury prevention.”

Still, De Jesus believes that Mau’s resolve and willingness to carry the cudgels and deliver in the clutch has remained the same even after weeks of layoff.

“Pero, andoon pa rin naman ‘yung hundred percent niya, ‘yung leadership and go-to-guy na ine-expect ng team.”

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