MANILA, Philippines – De La Salle University standouts Kianna Dy and Kim Fajardo are both delighted to have been selected to the 25-member pool of the national women's volleyball team, though the two players have different expectations as to what will come next for them.
"Thankful ako," said Fajardo, who has previously represented the country in the Asian Youth Girls Volleyball competition in 2008 as well as in the FIVB Women's Club World Championship last year. "Sobrang saya kasi first time ko mag-represent ng Philippines sa SEA Games. So sana dire-diretso, sana suportahan, maging isang tayo ngayon."
[I'm very thankful and happy, because this will be my first time to represent the Philippines in the SEA Games. I hope everyone will support the team.]
For her part, Dy said: "Super thankful kasi pati ako nagulat. Hindi ko naman ine-expect na makakasama ako sa pool."
[I'm thankful, but also surprised because I didn't expect to make the pool.]
Fajardo was one of three setters selected, along with Rhea Dimaculangan and Roselle Baliton of University of the East. Arguably the top playmaker in the country today, Fajardo is a near-lock to make the final roster that will compete in the Southeast Asian Games in August.
Indeed, she is one of four candidates for captaincy of the squad.
"Malaking bagay 'yun, kasi siyempre, hindi lang company, hindi lang school (ang nire-represent mo). Sama-sama na – buong Pilipinas. Lahat ng athlete, eto 'yung gusto," said Fajardo.
[This is a big deal for me, because we will be representing not just our schools or companies, but the entire country. This is the dream of every athlete.]
Dy, however, faces greater competition in her spot. The other utility spikers selected were Jovelyn Gonzaga – perhaps the best opposite spiker in the Philippines – as well as veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas. National University's Jaja Santiago, who usually plays middle blocker, can also be slotted as a utility spiker.
"I guess bahala na 'yung coaches to choose whoever is the best," said Dy. "If ever I don't make it sa 12, it's okay. I'll support the team pa rin."
[It's up to the coaches to choose whoever is the best.]
Knowing the quality of her competition, Dy admitted that she is keeping her expectations low as far as making it to the SEA Games team.
"Maraming magagaling na utility, so hindi naman masyadong mataas 'yung expectations ko. Kasi alam ko naman na may mas magaling sa 'kin," she said. "Kapag sila nakapasok syempre deserving naman sila."
[There are many good utility spikers, so I don't have very high expectations. I know there are players who are better than I am. If they make it, then they deserve it.]
If she does not make it to the final roster, Dy said she will still make the most out of training with the other players in the national team pool.
"Advantage din na may mas magaling sa 'yo, kasi you can get tips from them," said Dy, the Season 78 Finals MVP. "You can see how they work as a utility player, so siguro, I can also improve by joining this national team."
Aside from Fajardo and Dy, La Salle libero Dawn Macandili also made it to the 25-member pool.
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