Five months prior to the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference, Jeanette Panaga, who had just been released by Pocari Sweat, opened a new chapter in her career.
Back then, the fleet-footed middle blocker simply wanted to reunite with her former College of St. Benilde teammates in Petro Gazz. However, she also hoped to ignite a fire for the Angels, who, at that time, have yet to win a title nor make a finals appearance.
Half a year later following her decision to don red-and-white, the championship afterthought turned into a blissful reality.
“Basta happy ako,” beamed the three-time PVL Best Blocker.
“Wala akong ibang masabi kun’di masaya ako kasi nakuha namin ang championship.”
After an unprecedented run in the import-flavored tourney, Petro Gazz barged into its franchise’s first finals appearance before capturing its breakthrough title at the expense of the Creamline Cool Smashers last Sunday.
As the Angels overcame hurdle after hurdle, the 20-year-old Panaga was instrumental every step of the way.
Whenever the team needed a nudge on offense, she ably provided with momentum-swinging aces and blistering kills. If the need for a defensive anchor arose, her 5-foot-11 frame pestered oppositions above the net.
Outside looking in, playing a pivotal role with two championship teams in the PVL – in Pocari Sweat and Petro Gazz in the 2017 and 2019 Reinforced Conference, respectively – is, in itself, worthy of praise. Safe to say, Panaga has proven herself as a winner.
Still, for her part, the 24-year-old expresses that being surrounded by a group of people whom she calls family is as fulfilling as any other title or accolade.
“For me, sobrang nakakataba ng puso at happy na naging part ako ng family ng Petro Gazz,” she admitted.
“Yun naman po talaga, nakakataba ng puso.”