Pauline Gaston had mixed feelings after Chery Tiggo eliminated her former team Choco Mucho in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference semifinals race on Thursday night.
Gaston put up an all-around outing of 12 points, 19 excellent digs, and 14 excellent receptions as Chery Tiggo bolstered its semis bid at the expense of the Flying Titans, 25-21, 25-19, 25-19, at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The former Ateneo standout said that she had to set her personal feelings aside as she was locked in on helping her current team stay in semis contention.
“Malaki pa rin yung respeto ko sa kanila and I think they played really well and yun nga, bittersweet siya,” said Gaston after the win.
“Nung nakita ko sila, na-miss ko talaga sila and nakita ko na kumpleto pa rin sila. Bale ako lang talaga yung nawala ‘di ba? So I just really tried to set aside my emotions and played professionally,” she added.
Gaston started her professional career with the Flying Titans in 2021 and played for the Rebisco-backed franchise until the 2022 Reinforced Conference.
The son of former PBA player Fritz Gaston said that playing against her former team helped her contribute on the floor as she is familiar with Choco Mucho’s tendencies.
“I guess advantage sa ‘kin kasi nga kilala ko sila, kilala ko yung tendencies nila so I guess I was able to contribute in this game a lot kasi nga it’s my former team,” said the former Ateneo de Manila University standout, who filled in the shoes of starting outside hitter EJ Laure, who did not suit up in the game.
Gaston credited her teammates as well, especially team captain Mylene Paat, for her stellar play in the all-important match. The 5-foot-10 outside spiker also said that the team’s overall performance against the Flying Titans was a total team effort.
“I really have to thank my teammates and my coaches kasi binigyan nila ako ng opportunity and na-fi-feel ko talaga yung trust nila sa akin and I’ve been working hard. Alam mo naman nakaka-inspire talaga ang isang Mylene Paat diyan so impossible na hindi ako mahawa,” said Gaston.
“Everyone in the team is super nag-e-effort and meron pang EJ Laure, Shaya Adorador, tapos lahat ng gitna so impossible na hindi ako mahawa sa ganun na character nila na lahat kami nag-pu-push sa isa’t isa na mag-angat so I think it was a collaborate effort na binigyan ako ng mga sets so ayun.”