BaliPure players felt surprised when the Philippine Star’s Joey Villar bared the lineup of their team for the 2022 Premier Volleyball League season.
Of course, the Purest Water Defenders felt excited as they welcomed eight new players.
And headlining the key acquisitions of BaliPure was Jho Maraguinot.
“I was shocked sa una kasi I didn’t know the lineup until I saw it on social media,” said Sati Espritu, a mainstay of BaliPure since 2019. “I was shocked to see Jho Maraguinot sa team.
“‘Wow, we have Jho Maraguinot’, that was my first reaction.”
Maraguinot was one of the Perlas players that needed to find a home after the team took a leave of absence for the 2022 season of the league.
The 5-foot-8 open hitter ended up playing just one season with Perlas.
And for the Ateneo product, she is just glad to have a second chance with BaliPure.
“It was hard for everyone for Perlas because it was so sudden. Parang na-caught off guard din kami na nawala yung Perlas pero I’m glad that BaliPure accepted me pati na yung ibang players din kasi nga, madaming teams din nawala,” the 25-year-old outside hitter said. “I’m just thankful to BaliPure for accepting us newcomers.”
BaliPure was one of the early teams that stood out during the 2021 Open Conference.
The Purest Water Defenders had a 2-1 start in the tournament, including a five-set stunner versus eventual champions Chery Tiggo Crossovers.
Though BaliPure ended with just a 3-6 slate, Maraguinot admitted it felt exciting to watch them on the court. Now, she gets to be a part of it.
“Most of them first time ko makakasama pero nakita ko last PVL na sobrang fun nila maging teammates.“
Also joining Maraguinot in BaliPure are Jamie Lavitoria, Alyssa Eroa, Janine Marciano, Julia Ipac, Rafril Aguilar, Patty Orendain, and Marian Buitre.
Definitely, a far better team on paper than last season’s squad.
Once cleared to train, Maraguinot can’t wait to play alongside them.
“Actually nung sinabi sa akin yung teammates ko, nagulat ako. I think malaki yung potential namin this season. Ako, nae-excite ako just seeing the names,” she said.
“I think magiging masaya every game kasi yun yung identity nila last season.”