By: Ohmer Bautista
Suffering an injury at the peak of her career, National team standout Jovelyn Gonzaga made sure to take her time recovering.
The opposite hitter sustained a right knee injury in November 2017 while playing for Cignal in the Philippine Superliga. Then after almost two years of surgery and rehabilitation, along with military commitment, the Ilongga has been cleared to play.
And Sunday afternoon, she finally graced the taraflex again.
Gonzaga finished with eight points spiked by two blocks to help power the PacificTown-Army Lady Troopers to their first win in the V-League for the first since 2015 at the expense of BaliPure.
For Gonzaga’s part, helping her team in capturing the victory inspired her to play through the post-injury trauma that haunted her before her first game back.
“Actually, ayaw ko isipin na noong bago palang ako sa court, ayaw ko pressure-in ‘yung sarili ko. Ayaw ko isipin na ngayon palang ako babalik. Gusto ko normal feeling lang. Ayaw ko nae-excite, ayaw ko tinatanong ako ng mga tao na, ‘Ano ang feeling mo?’ Kasi normal naman na ang feeling ko,” the two-time V-League MVP confessed.
“And so far, hangga’t maari, makatulong sa team, ‘yun palang ang iniisip ko. Hindi na yung magpapaka-hero ako whatsoever.
“Siguro kung ano lang talaga matutulong ko sa team, maco-contribute ko sa team, ‘yun ‘yung gusto kong i-emphasize,” the 27-year-old continued.
When asked about how she feels physically, she said, “Wala akong fear ngayon na tumalon at maglaro.
“Honestly, ang nararamdaman ko? Okay na ako – ten.
“Hindi ko na iniisip ‘yung injury kasi pag sinasabi na tina-tape kita, ayaw ko isipin na galling akong injury,” the two-time V-League and PSL MVP added.
With a battle-tested veteran like Gonzaga, who is raring to get back to her MVP form, the league needs to be wary of the lefty Ilongga and her Army Lady Troopers.
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