On her 37th birthday, Sue Roces made a tough decision.
After a stellar career spanning two decades, Roces has decided to hang up her sneakers and retire from pro volleyball.
“First time ko ia-announce na ngayong 2022 para sa mga naging fans ko, lahat ng coaches at teammates ko, at fans ng Perlas, I’ve decided to retire.
“Happy naman na ako. Pinagisipan ko na yun last year pa bago mag end yung taon. So decided na ako mag-retire sa paglalaro,” she told Abante Tonite’s Sportalakan hosted by her partner Sarah Asido. “Hindi niyo na ako makikita sa loob ng playing court.”
Roces has had an amazing career in volleyball.
Back in 2002, the lanky opposite hitter was recruited by University of the East. She was named the UAAP Season 65 Rookie of the Year.
During the inaugural UAAP Beach Volleyball tournament, she was able to power the Lady Warriors to a silver finish in Season 69.
Roces would then compete in the Shakey’s V-League, winning multiple championships in the league.
Known as the “Pambansang Guest Player”, she would play for University of Santo Tomas, Adamson, San Sebastian, and Ateneo as a reinforcement.
She would help the Golden Tigresses win the 2007 V-League’s second conference, the Lady Stags take the 2007 second conference and the 2012 open conference, and the Lady Eagles rule the 2012 first conference.
Roces would also win two more titles with PLDT in 2015, sweeping both the Open and Reinforced Conferences.
During the 2008 second conference, she was also hailed as the Finals Most Valuable Player while taking top honors during the first conference of the 2010 season.
After a year with BaliPure, Roces would join good pal Charo Soriano in Perlas. There, she would play from 2017 until last season.
Roces would also be part of numerous national teams.
Alongside Michelle Carolino, they would represent the country in the 2008 Asian Beach Games in Bali, Indonesia, making it to the round of 16.
She would also be part of the Philippine team that competed in the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship qualification and 2015 VTV International Volleyball Cup.
Perlas decided to take a leave of absence for this season.
“Gusto ko mag-thank you sa lahat ng nakasama ko mula Grade Six ako hanggang sa huling laro ko sa PVL,” the proud Bulakenya said.
“Nagpapasalamat din ako kay Coach Roger [Gorayeb], parang tatay ko na ‘yan at love na love ko ‘yan. Nagpapasalamat din ako sa Perlas, pamilya ko yan at nagpapasalamat ako na sila ang huling nakasama ko. Nagpapasalamat din ako kay Charo dahil hindi ko lang siya naging kaibigan at teammate,” she expressed.
“Mahal ko kayong lahat!”
With her playing days done, Roces is looking forward to sharing her experiences in a different capacity.
Yes, the 5-foot-10 spiker is making a transition into being a coach.
“Gusto ko sana ma-share ko naman ang experiences at talents ko sa mga coaches naman. Gusto ko sana pasukin yung pagiging coaching staff at para kahit papano, ma-inspire ko naman yung magiging players na kasama ko. Sana kung meron,” she said.
“Focus na rin ako sa family at sa sarili ko.”
Looking back though, Roces said that she has no regrets about how her career went.
“Wala naman. Para sa akin, kuntento na ako sa mga nangyari sa akin, yung mga na-achieve ko. Kung ano na lang ibibigay ni God, ready lang ako.”