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Tiebreaker Times


Panaga relishes playing in front of mom

Jeanette Panaga was a force at the net during Creamline’s 25-22, 22-25, 25-5, 25-19 victory over Chery Tiggo in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Battle for Bronze on Thursday.

The 28-year-old middle blocker wound up with 14 points, including nine kill blocks. And her performance helped the Cool Smashers move one win away from a third-place finish.

That blocking output matched the season high, made by Rose Doria during Cignal’s 17-25, 20-25, 27-25, 25-22, 15-5 win against PLDT in the Invitational Conference third-place bout.

“Ha? Ako ba? Totoo? this season?,” quipped Panaga upon being informed she matched the season high for blocks.

“Actually, ang mindset lang talaga namin ng team ay maglaro na lang kami and ibalik namin yung happy happy lang parang less pressure,” added the College of St. Benilde product.

Aiming to complete a rare grand slam of the PVL three jewels, pressure-hounded Creamline in the round-robin semifinals causing it to settle for the battle for bronze.

Getting the season-high for blocks wasn’t part of the plan for Panaga though. Instead, she just wanted to play her role in the team.

“Less pressure sa sarili ko, play happy lang talaga and mabigay yung pwede kong maibigay sa team,” said Panaga.

“Naglalaro lang talaga ako for the team and gusto ko lang talaga manalo.”

Another reason for Panaga’s fine play was her mother Annie watching live for the first time with her donning the Cool Smashers uniform.

“Sobrang nainspire ako and sobrang happy ako na pumunta siya dito sa game. Hindi niya pa alam na hindi kami nakapasok ng Finals sabi ko ‘Ma, hindi kami nakapasok ng Finals’ pero sabi niya ‘Nak, manonood ako for you’,” shared Panaga during the TV postgame interview.

“She means a lot to me talaga so grabe, sobrang nainspire ako kapag nanonood ‘yung nanay ko.”

Panaga and the rest of Creamline look to clinch bronze on December 6, Tuesday, at the Philsports Arena.

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Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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