Admittedly unsatisfied with her performance in last year’s V-League season, Angge Tabaquero has been working hard to get herself back at an elite level of play. She has been dominating National team tryouts and practices. She has also continued to display tremendous form in Cagayan Valley’s straight-set domination of Perpetual-Fourbees in their first V-League match of the season.
Playing only limited time as Coach Nes Pamilar opted to use all of his players, Tabaquero led her team with nine points and displayed agility and power reminiscent of her days with the UST Tigresses. Though Cagayan Valley was heavily favored heading into their match with Fourbees, team captain, Tabaquero said she and her team still treated the match with their same signature intensity. “The usual mindset pa rin naman. Que mahina o malakas ‘yung kalaban, you have to give your 101% every game. Kahit sino pa ‘yung kalaban mo kailangan igalang pa rin,” Tabaquero told Tiebreaker Times.
When pressed about her expectations for Cagayan – the V-League’s defending champions – this season, Tabaquero is keen on taking the one-step-at-a-time approach for her veteran team. “It’s a new season, a new set of teams, new names, for now we’ll take it one game at a time. For now, everyone’s goal in the tournament is makapasok sa Top 4, then from there into the Finals and then championship,” Tabaquero responded.
Tabaquero also admits that she’s looking forward to throwing it down with some of the league’s new and old powerhouses. “PLDT and Army! Excited kami na makaharap sila kasi we know na malakas ‘yung lineup nila. Nakaka-challenge,” the former Poveda mentor said.
The defending champions do have several roadblocks on their road to repeating in the form of the always annual contenders, Army Lady Troopers, and the retooled PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters. Not to be left out, the Lady Rising Suns also bolstered their lineup with the addition of the lanky, Ria Meneses.
A former Thomasian herself, Tabaquero recognizes the lift Meneses can provide with her height and blocking. “Siguro medyo kulang pa sa chemistry with the setters but she (Meneses) will get there. But in terms of bonding with the team, she’s been great,” Tabaquero closed.
Cagayan will look to get their second win when they tussle with the Baguio Summer Spikers on April 9 at the San Juan Arena.