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Baliton letting critics have their day, motivated to make National Team



When the 25-woman pool for the Women’s National Team was announced yesterday, Roselle Baliton stood out from the list like she does in everyday life.

Standing at six-foot-one, the 20-year-old was converted from a middle blocker into a setter midway into UAAP Season 78. Now a full-time playmaker, her height and potential alone had head coach Francis Vicente and the brass of the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. excited over what she could contribute to the National Team.

Baliton, however, severely lacks the experience, especially when compared to the setters that also made the team – Kim Fajardo and Rhea Dimaculangan — and those who didn’t — Jia Morado.

Social media was flooded yesterday with comments regarding Baliton’s selection and Vicente’s subsequent justification.

For her part, Baliton expected all the negative reactions to her selections and she chooses to just ignore it.UAAP 79 UP vs. UE - Baliton-1151

“Actually noong hindi pa ako nag-online may nag-tetext na sa akin. Naisip ko na sa text pa nga lang meron na so sa internet meron na rin, [yung mga] hindi ko kilala. Sabi, umatras na daw ako sa line-up kasi madami na nag-babash tapos trending daw ako sa Twitter hindi dahil sa support kundi dahil sa pam-babash,” she said after her UE Lady Warriors dropped in four sets to the UP Lady Maroons earlier today.

“Masakit kasi jina-judge nila si Coach [Vicente] na may authority pero ako deadma na lang. Sa internet naman nababasa ko kasi sabog ang notifications ko pero hinayaan ko na lang.

“Okay na lang deadma na lang. May mga nababasa ako na [hindi maganda] pero ganoon talaga part talaga ng life ‘yun sa pag-grow siyempre madami nakatutok sa lineup, sa coaches, sa players, part ‘yun so tanggap lang,” the National Team pool member furthered.

The third-year Business Management major is using the criticisms to fuel her drive to improve.

“Yes po [mas motivated ako] kasi ‘di ba ang mga negative comments sa akin nasasabayan din ‘yun ng teammates ko na ‘okay lang yun ate Sel’ so nali-lift up pa ako.

“May mga comments din na positive din so doon na lang ako nag-fofocus kaysa ma-down pa ang sarili ko kasi, siyempre, madaming tao talaga na gusto ako ma-down pero it’s okay lang part lang din ‘yun,” she declared.


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.