Blue Eagle Gym
May 12, 2015
Wake me up, I’m dreaming.
Am I staring at Philippine volleyball’s mightiest of heroes, our very own version of The Avengers? Like the superheroes we love to read in comics and watch in the movies, we have our little version of these heroes in our midst. Or at least a speck of it. And Stan Lee should be proud.
I’m referring to our Philippine team doing battle in the 28th SEA Games set June 5-19 in Singapore. Our team are out to face the most feared enemies in our region like Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam among others. They’ve all gotten used to kicking our behinds for decades now.
On this one edition in Singapore, the butt-whipping should stop.
Because we have formed a team that may be the strongest we formed in years, perhaps decades. This team I’m talking about is a group we can proudly claim as our Avengers. Filipino Avengers, if I may say. Yes they are.
Former foes Alyssa Valdez and Aby Marano are finally playing together. Sisters Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Jaja Santiago are re-united for a cause. Silent assassin Aiza Maizo-Pontillas is in. Rhea Dimaculangan and Maika Ortiz were finally given the green light by the Philippine Air Force to join. Puny but big-hearted Jia Morado will try to reprise her role as a David against the region’s Goliaths. Talented and charismatic Rachel Ann Daquis and Jovelyn Gonzaga have both said yes. Denden Lazaro accepted the role as vacuum cleaner for stray balls. Incredible Gretchel Soltones completes the cast.
The final addition was Marano, who decided in the last-minute to join the Singapore-bound squad and gave up her spot in the other Philippine team out to scale the Great Wall in the Asian Seniors Championship in Beijing, China from May 20-28.
Oh bless her heart.
Oh bless all their hearts.
I’m happy that we’re starting to see the light. Products of the sacrifices taken by the girls, who were ridiculed at the start but eventually persevered and did the miraculous by finishing seventh out of 12 right on our very return to the international scene after a decades-long hiatus. And we stared eye to eye for some fleeting moments against world powers like China, Japan and Chinese Taipei.
Not too long ago that only four showed up on the first day of practice a month ago. Now every player wants to be part of the team. Not too long ago that our players didn’t even get a single shirt nor have food or water during practice. Now sponsors and support have started to pour in.
And for those who kept the faith, hold your heads up high.
“And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born—to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand! Through the years, their roster has prospered, changing many times, their glory has never been denied! Heed the call, then—for now, the Avengers Assemble!”
—Prologue from The Avengers used in the 1970s
Follow me on Twitter: @JoeySVillar