Angeli Tabaquero is one of the juggernauts in Philippine volleyball. She helped lead a UST team to two UAAP and three Shakey’s V-League championships. To add to her list of accomplishments, she has led her current team, the Cagayan Lady Rising Suns, to two Shakey’s V-League championships as well. Unfortunately for her, her fans, and the fans of the sport, she suffered an injury that has kept out of action for a month now.
What was initially thought to be a shoulder sprain is actually a much more complicated injury, and the original two week recovery period has stretched on, leaving Angeli unavailable to play during her team’s crucial moments.
But the situation is not as bleak as it seems. Despite her absence, her team still managed to make it into the top four of the V-League, and they are currently ahead 1-0 against Meralco in a Best of three battle for third place.
Not only that, it seems that Angeli’s recovery is going smoothly. And while she is taking every precaution for it to heal properly, she expects to be back in the court sooner rather than later.
“Naa-angat ko na siya [shoulder]. Pero at a certain point may pain pa rin. Mas comfortable ako ngayon, kasi before kahit nakaupo ako masakit.”
“After this six sessions of range of motion, may another six sessions of strengthening. So medyo matagal pa, pero by June, second week of June, good to go na ako ulit. Dapat kasi ihahabol siya sa finals ng V-league, pero na move ‘yung schedule diba? So inextend na rin nila (‘yung therapy). ‘Yung injury ko kasi hindi ganun ka simple kasi medyo complicated yung muscle na napunit. Kaya medyo dinadahan-dahan, baka mapunit ulit,” shared Angeli. “For sure second conference [babalik], and may upcoming tournament sa Tuguegarao, yung friendship games. I think June 21 ‘yung start.”
Aside from the injury update, Angeli shared how her team, who is used to battling for either first or second place, feels about their current situation.
“(Dati) it’s either kami yung bride, or kami yung bridesmaid. Hindi nakakapanibago yung term eh, more like nanghihinayang. Alam namin sa sarili namin na kaya, may kaya kaming ibuga, kaya namin silang tapatan. Pero pag-nakatapat kami sa Army and PLDT, medyo masama yung gising ng bawa’t-isa, parang nagkakataon lang. And to think yung Meralco na na-straight set namin palagi, nafi-five sets yung dalawang team. So ganun, sobrang nakakahinayang kasi alam ko yung kapasidad ng koponan ko eh.”
Angeli has not only been constantly cheering for her team in the sidelines, she also makes use of her experience coaching the Poveda volleyball team, giving her younger teammates advice so that they may improve their game.
“Dun sa juniors na pareho kaming position, mga open spikers, si Vargas and Marciano, I give them advice, for example, paano gumalaw sa court, saan dadalhin yung bola. Sometimes pine-pep talk ko sila. Bilang mas may experience sa kanila, shinashare ko kung paano mag handle ng pressure. And yung pag-cheer cheer, ganun, yun nalang magagawa ko eh.”
But if there’s one thing Angeli can’t wait to do is to get back into the court, play the game she loves, and help her team win.
“Nanghihinayang talaga ako. Nanghihinayang na naiingit, kasi nakakapaglaro sila. At least kahit paano nakakapag-contribute sila sa team, ako kasi wala eh, nangyari yung aksidente. Ang magagawa ko nalang sa kanila is mag boost ng morale nila.”