Once the best all-around player in the country, Jovelyn Gonzaga is biding her time until her return from an ACL tear that has sidelined her since late 2017.
The Ilongga will banner the Pacific Town-Army Lady Troopers in the upcoming Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference. Gonzaga has had to rehab and finish mandatory training with Army over the last two years.
Admittedly, the 27-year-old spiker is far from her MVP form.
“Siguro, ready to play na. Hindi ko alam kung one hundred-percent. Pero as far as I know is nakakatalon na ako ulit.
“Hindi ko masasabing katulad ng before ‘yung bilis ko. As far as I know, makakalaro na ako ulit,” the lefty opposite hitter said, adding that her basic training with Army helped strengthen her body.
“Noong nag-training ako, doon ako lumakas. Sinasabi ng conditioning coach ko pagbalik – kasi I stopped training ng volleyball siguro for four months… Pagbalik ko, natuwa siya kasi lumakas ako. Sobrang thankful ko noon na gumanda ‘yung kundisyon ko,” she continued.
Along with Gonzaga, Army feature most of their reliable veterans, Ging Balse, Nene Bautista, Royse Tubino, and Tin Agno. Returning to the PVL for the first time since 2015, Gonzaga knows there will still be expectations, even though they are no longer the same Army team.
“Siguro two years kaming hindi nabuo. ‘Yung team kasi namin is mix ng seniors and juniors, so iba ‘yung timpla ng ilalaro namin. Siguro, nasa stage pa lang kami ng binubuo ulet. ‘Yung goal namin is one game at a time,” said the two-time PSL MVP.
“Alam naman naming malalakas ‘yung mga makakalaban so sineset lang namin is one game at a time. Siyempre, nandoon pa rin ‘yung pressure kasi Army team pa rin ito na nanalo ng maraming championships. Pero, titignan pa namin kasi di pa kami nagkakalaban noong ibang team.”
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