BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — The ‘Energizer Bunny.’
That’s how Choco Mucho head coach Oliver Almadro describes Ponggay Gaston’s role in the Rebisco-backed squad.
A role that she really, really excels at too, according to Almadro.
“I’m happy with what Ponggay is doing. She’s giving the energy of the team. Siya ‘yung hugutan namin ng energy,” said Almadro after the Flying Titans’ third-straight win over Perlas.
“It really helps us boost our confidence and our energy. Alam naman natin na ‘yung pagod, dumarating ‘yan, so kailangan ng added energy.”
On Sunday evening, Gaston finished with nine points, 22 excellent digs, and five excellent receptions. She helped lead Choco Mucho’s 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 win over the debuting Perlas Spikers, here at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center.
Gaston bared that she’s willing to do everything that Almadro wants her to do. Things from leading the team’s chants during warm-ups, to becoming a very vocal presence inside the court.
“Kahit anong responsibility na ibibigay ni coach, tatanggapin ko. So kahit anong position man ‘yan, may tiwala ako sa coaches, lalo na kay Coach O,” expressed the 23-year-old opposite hitter, who let go of her final year in Ateneo to join Choco Mucho. “So kung ano man ang ibabato niya, alam ko ‘yun ‘yung blessing na gusto na gawin ni Lord para sa kin. Tanggap lang ng tanggap kasi sino namang tatanggi sa mga blessings? Regalo, kumbaga.
“From this point, hindi kami titigil. We’re gonna keep working. We know we had a lot to improve on. Kahit ano man ‘yung standing niyan, magtatrabaho pa rin kami.”
The UAAP champion coach also emphasized the importance of having a strong character like Gaston in a bubble setting like this.
The thought of being away from their respective families, especially in a tough time like this pandemic, can definitely take its toll on anyone. So, a huge ball of energy in the form of Gaston can really benefit the squad.
“Kailangan namin ng energizer bunny, so si Ponggay ‘yun.
“I’m really confident with her. Alam mo namang team captain ko ‘yan sa Ateneo and she’s a champion player also. So ‘yung confidence niya, kailangan dalhin niya dito sa team,” shared Almadro, a champion coach in both the UAAP’s men’s and women’s division.
“And alam niya na kailangan ko siya mag-improve and she’s a very humble player naman. Mag-iimprove at mag-iimprove pa — ‘yun nga aim niya lagi.”