Volleyball: Why Manilla Santos opted out of upcoming PVL season

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2021 04:42 PM

Volleyball: Why Manilla Santos opted out of upcoming PVL season 1

MANILA, Philippines -- De La Salle University icon Manilla Santos enjoyed her first season with Choco Mucho in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL), but the unique nature of their upcoming campaign compelled her to skip the season.

Santos came out of retirement in August 2019 to play for the Flying Titans in the PVL. They compiled a 6-10 record in the 2019 PVL Open Conference, missing the Final 4.

Speaking to Migs Bustos and Cesca Litton on "Off the Record," Santos said she had a great time with Choco Mucho as she returned to volleyball after a decade away from the sport.

"It was a really wonderful experience," she said.

However, with the upcoming season likely to be held in a "bubble" setting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no way that Santos could participate.

Playing in a bubble would mean that Santos would be away from her family for at least a couple of months, and it was something that she could not do.

"Last year around mga second week of December, the management called up and magre-renew na ng contract. There was a rumor na kasi at that time na magkakaroon na ng bubble. Tapos, hindi na rin ako nagdalawang-isip," she said.

Her son, who inspired her to make a return to volleyball in the first place, made it clear that playing in the PVL bubble wasn't an option for Santos.

"One of the reasons kaya din ako bumalik is because of my son. Sabi niya na he wants to see me play. Tapos na-explain ko sa kanya na what if next year, it's going to be a bubble. Sabi niya, capital N-O. No," said Santos. "Sabi niya, 'I will talk to them, hindi kita papayagan.'"

"Sa totoo lang, hindi na talaga ako nagdalawang-isip din," she added.

The PVL is planning to hold its first professional season in a bubble at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna in May.

While she is disappointed not to play, Santos said she is doing what is best for her family and for Choco Mucho as well.

"It's also unfair for the team if I'm there physically, pero 'yung isip ko, naiiwan sa bahay. So yeah, sabi ko hindi na lang ako tutuloy sa tournament na 'to," she said.

Even if she won't play this year, Santos takes comfort in knowing that her son, Kenzi, has seen her compete in the sport that made her a legend in De La Salle University.

"He was happy, and he was really proud that he saw me play," said Santos. "'Yun lang naman 'yung gusto ko rin, na makita nila na si mommy, hindi basta-basta nagki-quit. Kasi, 'di ba, role model tayo (as) parents."

"So 'yun 'yung gusto ko rin ma-realize ng anak ko, habang naglalaro ako, to do your best sa lahat ng ginagawa mo."


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