Mylene Paat played an integral role to Cignal’s rise from contender afterthought to legitimate title favorite in the 2019 season of the Philippine Superliga.
With her 5-foot-11 frame and the athleticism to boot, Paat was an effective attacker and a solid net defender for the HD Spikers. She proved instrumental to a team that captured silver and bronze in the league’s All-Filipino and Invitational Conferences, respectively.
Needless to say, the native of Pangasinan had no shortage of minutes on the court, all while playing for a team that had the tools to compete for a championship. To put it simply, she was in a position that most players could only ever hope for.
So, what urged her to leave Cignal for Chery Tiggo?
“Gusto ko kasi talagang mag-explore. Gusto ko makita ‘yung sarili ko, kung ano kakayahan ko na wala sa team,” the 25-year-old Paat — who made it known that she parted ways with Cignal on good terms — bared on Wednesday in a presser to announce her signing.
“Kasi hindi ko naman sinasabing nakukulangan ako or what sa performance ko, pero ‘yung gusto ko lang ‘yung makita ‘yung sarili ko sa iba.”
Having joined a club team that has rebranded itself from the Foton Tornadoes to Chery Tiggo Crossovers to start the year, the lefty opposite hitter now has the chance to discover herself more and start afresh.
But now a part of a star ensemble that has the Santiago and Laure siblings in tow — alongside vital cogs such as Jen Reyes, Shaya Adorador, Marian Buitre as well — Paat acknowledges the pressure.
“Nai-intimidate naman talaga ako ‘pag may bagong team, pero andiyan na lang siya eh. Normal na lang siya [sa] isang player na katulad ko,” the Adamson product admitted.
Still, she believes that their loaded roster will spare no effort as a unit to attain their ultimate goal.
“Para sa ‘kin naman, daig ng masipag na tao ang magaling na tao. Siyempre, paghihirapan ng bawat isa. Lalo na ako, kung kelangan talaga ng triple time, ‘yun ‘yung gagawin ko,” asserted Paat, who has already trained with the Crossovers earlier this week.
She then continued, “About naman dun sa stars… Napapansin ko naman sa team na ‘to, wala namang pa-star. Wala namang one-man team. Mga team players din naman sila. Madali naman silang pakisamahan.”
Known for her double-edged arsenal, Paat emphasized that her leadership will also be of huge help to Chery Tiggo.
“‘Yung leadership din siguro ‘yung magiging role ko sa team kasi isa din ako doon sa mga ilo-look up nila dahil sa naging performance ko nga this last SEA Games and sa mga nakaraan pang liga,” she said.
“May mga maitutulong din naman ako sa kanila. I hope na maging open-minded lang ‘yung bawat isa sa ‘min. Accept lang ng accept para matuto.”