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Samonte says new-look Perlas not just a barkada: ‘It’s a family’


Tuguegarao Perlas will parade five new faces when it begins its 2021 PNVF Champions League campaign on Saturday.

There’s 21-year-old Martha Mora, returning setter Fhen Emnas, and 5-foot-9 blocker Norielle Ipac.

Then there are their two key pickups in Jules Samonte and former V-League Best Setter Wendy Semana.

For Samonte, it just felt great to return to the court.

“It’s been such an experience since two years lang ako sa bahay, walang ginagawa. I mean, I was just working out at my own pace,” the 23-year-old Ateneo product told The Game. “But now that I am playing again, it feels so unreal. I’ve been itching to play since the UAAP stopped.”

Samonte added that she will play middle blocker for Perlas in the six-day meet.

But besides getting to play the position she has become used to for the past three years, Samonte shared that being part of Perlas felt natural.

UAAP81-_Womens-Volleyball-DLSU-ADMU-Madayag-Samonte-3404 Samonte says new-look Perlas not just a barkada: 'It's a family' News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“I think that everyone is just jelling together,” said Samonte.

“It’s not like a barkada but it’s a family. Everyone is just easy to approach.”

Roma Doromal would add that compared to their PVL team, this batch of Perlas did not have a problem during their short camp in building chemistry as everyone is almost of the same age. This Perlas team has an average age of 25.6.

“Siguro, nag-jell kami dahil magkakadikit yung age namin,” said Doromal, 23.

And it also helps that they have a veteran in Semana, who will not just play make for the team but also be the team’s skipper.

#ReadMore  Bulldogs bag first PVL crown

PVL-Women-Perlas-vs.-Air-Force-Semana-0566 Samonte says new-look Perlas not just a barkada: 'It's a family' News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“It’s such an honor to be playing with her. Isang karangalan to play with Ate Wendy,” expressed Samonte about the 35-year-old setter out of the Philippine Air Force.

Inspired is Perlas to make waves especially after their one-win campaign in the PVL’s Ilocos Norte bubble tournament just a couple of months ago.

But for Doromal and Samonte, it’s what motivates them as they begin their campaign against Chery Tiggo at 4:00PM on Saturday.

“Madaming kaming bago at hindi sila nakapaglaro. Yung gigil nila makakatulong sa amin plus yung journey namin nung PVL,” said Doromal.

Samonte would add: “Wala namang expectations sa amin pero as a team, we just focus on the everyday.”

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