The Arena, San Juan
November 11, 2014
I’m borrowing this line from Rick Reilly to open up a blog.
Looks aren’t everything.
And I will use the same tack he used in an old story he wrote in the 90s by asking you to close your eyes while I describe the player I’m introducing. Compared with today’s volleyball stars, she doesn’t move fast but she’s all power with a bazooka-like hands and arms. Whenever she unleashed one of her powerful spikes, you should be prepared to dive to the floor and scamper for that poor ball she will hammer.
You’re thinking of Alyssa Valdez, right? Wrong.
This lady seemed to be appreciated only by genuine followers who watched her game after game. She’s shy with everyone but when you get a chance to talk to her, you know that she’s speaking from heart. She’s a classic case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. Soft-spoken and calm demeanored outside the volleyball court, a monster inside it.
You’re thinking of Rachel Ann Daquis, right? Wrong.
She is simply electric. She could carry an offense and a team by herself. One match, she will bury you with her power game. Another, she will use her blocking to suffocate you. If you know what juggernaut meant, she’s the one. She’s also a locker room presence and serves as an adhesive that kept her team together.
You’re thinking of Jovelyn Gonzaga, right? Wrong.
She’s a born winner. She snared a treble by winning the championship with the Cagayan Valley Rising Suns, the Shakey’s V-League Season 11-Third Conference MVP and the Finals MVP. And she did the trick twice after she accomplished the same feat five seasons ago when she led her school to the title and bagged Conference and Finals MVP plums on the same breath five seasons back.
You’re thinking of Abby Marano, right? Wrong.
Now open your eyes and take a look at her. She’s Aiza Maizo-Pontillas. You’re shocked right? She’s not the super model or Ms. Universe you expect. She carries herself simply. She doesn’t talk that much. Smiles sheepishly. She’s a little chubby. Shame on you all if you’re obsessed with what’s on the outside of a person, not the inside. Take a little look and talk to her and you will see a beautiful lady. She’s honest to the bones. She’s geniune. And we’re not even talking about her game? If there’s a basketball player to compare her with, Dwight Howard was the first one to come to mind. And she’s a mother who misses her two-year-old boy Aaron James. That is love, ladies and gentlemen.
And that is more than enough for me.
If only AJ could watch her mom play, I’m sure she’ll be proud.
I’m just a fan of her.
And, pardon my French, I’m freaking darn proud of her.
To the bones.
(Photos courtesy of Shakey’s V-League)