Though the battle-tested duo of Amanda Villanueva and Pam Lastimosa powered the Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors’ sweep of Marinerang Pilipina that put an end to their 10-game losing skid on Thursday, it was a rookie who shone the brightest in the game’s crucial stretch.
Pro volleyball, meet Glaudine Troncoso.
Troncoso came off the bench and entered the match in the third set. She finished with eight points, but none more important than those in the decisive set that went the extra mile.
The 21-year-old displayed a will beyond her years, nailing a couple of differential hits in the back-and-forth deuce. While the game hung in the balance, she shattered the 29-all deadlock with a smash that paved a way for the win — much to the delight of Sta. Lucia head coach Babes Castillo.
“She may be young pero makikita mo na yung DNA of a champion player,” Castillo beamed.
While her performance down the stretch drew praises from her mentor, the proud daughter of Iloilo disclosed that she has been exposed to pressure-packed moments as early as college.
Troncoso is an alumnus of the Central Philippine University, home to a volleyball program that has bagged multiple titles in regional tourneys. In her five-year tenure in college, she helped deliver five championships for CPU.
Then at the tail-end of her collegiate years, in a conference before the PSL All-Filipino, a fateful encounter opened a new chapter in her career.
“May PSL on Tour po sila,” Troncoso, who stands at 5-foot-8, recounted. “Tapos yung Sta. Lucia, kinuha po nila ako.
“Nag-tryout po kami tapos after graduating sa school ko, pumunta na ko dito.”
As one of the many athletes who have made a leap of faith from the province to the Metro, Troncoso has had her fair share of hardships.
First, she had to move away from her comfort zone in Iloilo and live in Manila without her family. There is also the mental toll that comes along with it. Moreover, she has to prove her worth and survive in one of the most competitive tourneys in the country.
But after a month and a half of residency, amid all the pressure, Troncoso is starting to find her footing.
“Yung mga recent game namin parang may kaba pa. Siyempre iba na ‘tong PSL, high standard na ang nilalaro. Ngayon, na-overcome ko na through the process and the coaches who teach me how to be confident inside the court,” Troncoso gushed.
Now, looking back, she is immensely grateful to everyone who embraced her with open arms and continue to support her.
“Thankful po ako sa mga coaches dahil binibigyan nila ako ng chance para ma-showcase yung talents ko,” Troncoso cheerily added.
“So, yun, magandang motivation mula sa mga kasama ko na chine-cheer nila ako kahit rookie ako.”
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