Representing the country is the be-all goal of every athlete, most especially if you are an elite one.
Sometimes, though, even such an elite athlete has to take a step back and decide if he or she was ready for such a tall task.
In the past year, Rancel Varga had that decision to make and instead focused on the then-upcoming UAAP men’s beach volleyball tournament where the University of Santo Tomas is the defending back-to-back champion. He left Season 81 partner Jaron Requinton in the national squad.
“Yung sa team po namin is talagang committed po kami talaga sa UST,” Varga shared on the decision.
“Talagang pag UAAP po, ‘yung focus po talga namin is UAAP. Kasi ayaw po namin ma-dissapoint sila coach, kasi alam din po namin ‘yung pinaghirapan din po nila, ano ‘yung sinimulan nila, ano ‘yung binuild nila sa beach volleyball, sa UST Tiger Sands po.”
The squad is also going all-out to support Requinton’s campaign for the Southeast Asian Games.
“Yes po. Dapat i-support din po kami kay Ja. Kung ano ‘yung ma-achieve niya talagang fully 100-percent po talaga kami na support sa kanya,” the UAAP Season 82 MVP said.
Eventually, the sacrifices paid off for the Tiger Sands.
Requinton captured a second consecutive Games bronze in Vietnam, and then the former and Varga reunited in the UAAP to finish what Varga and Ephraem Dimaculangan started – with UST’s third straight UAAP championship and sixth overall.
Moreover, Varga collected yet another MVP award in Season 84, floating talks of maybe returning to his rightful place with the national squad.
The 22-year-old very much welcomed the idea. “Kung ibigay po ni God, tatanggapin ko po. Tiyaka thankful na din po ako, kahit di po ako masali sa national team. Basta ‘yung pinaglalaban po namin sa school is nagagampanan po namin. Tiyaka kung dumating po ‘yung national team, e di tanggap ko po.”
Varga, however, believes that there are things he needed to work on to better get ready to compete for the Filipino flag.
He said, “Siguro po, mas improve ko pa po ‘yung character ko po sa loob ng court, kung pano po ‘yung mindset ko sa loob ng court, kung pano po ako mag mindset sa game ‘yun po ‘yung i-improve ko. Pati ‘yung mga how I read the spiker po.”
Nonetheless, the national team still is where he wants to be in the near future and at the right time.
“Siguro po, one year or two years from now, nasa national team na po ako, ayun po. Kasi ‘yun naman po goal lahat ng player po. Mapa-sali po sa pool ng national team.”