On opening day of the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine, the Cocolife Asset Managers finally unveiled much-hyped recruit Kalei Mau.
The Filipino-American spiker from Hawaii was nearly unstoppable at the net, tallying 13 points on a fairly efficient attacking clip against the Petron Blaze Spikers.
Still, the University of Arizona product was in high spirits after her first match. Getting to play in her mother’s home country was a thrill for the 6-foot-1 open hitter.
She points out that she is still recovering from a shoulder surgery from an injury she suffered while playing for Nantes Volleyball in France earlier this year.
“Wow! I think this is such a good environment to play in. Definitely, I held myself to a higher standard because this is my first game back and I don’t want to go crazy and hurt myself. I’m really still focused on making a full recovery,” the 23-year-old said.
“And everyday I get the opportunity to step on the court, I want to get a little bit better. I’m proud of the way that my team persevered. I mean, we never got stuck in one rotation. When we did, someone did something to help us get our of it. So I’m proud of them.”
Aside from getting back into peak form, Mau wants to spark her team’s overall confidence.
“My second most important goal also is to get this team the confidence that they need and that they deserve because each individual is really a hardworking player,” shared Mau, who is born to a Filipino mother.
“Everyday in the gym, we’re working very hard, and so I really want them to bring that game that we have in the practice gym onto the court because I don’t think we’re not less than any team in the PSL.”
If she has to carry a major portion of Cocolife’s offense, then Mau is comfortable in that role. She was an All-American in her final year in Arizona and has already played with Puerto Rican club Mayaguez Indios and French team Nantes Volley-Ball.
“Definitely, all the teams that I played for I’ve been an offensive leader and I like that.
“It actually pushes me to be better, I play well under pressure. I just really have to be mindful though of the injury that I’m trying to come back on. I don’t want to blow it. This is my first game. As I mentioned here, I just wanna keep progressing,” she stressed.
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