MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran libero Dennise Lazaro is excited for a new challenge in her volleyball career, after signing with the Choco Mucho Flying Titans in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
The 28-year-old libero had stints with Cocolife and Petron in the Philippine Superliga before making a comeback to the PVL. In Choco Mucho, she will reunite with some of her former teammates from Ateneo de Manila University, including Bea de Leon and Maddie Madayag.
"I'm really happy to be back with my old teammates," Lazaro said on "Off the Record" with Migs Bustos. "I'm familiar with most of the people in the team."
"And I'm really happy to be under Coach Oliver (Almadro)," she added. "I've never played under him, so it's a new system to get used to."
But what has Lazaro most excited is the prospect of teaming up with De La Salle University legend Manilla Santos, who made headlines last year when she returned to volleyball, 10 years after wrapping up her UAAP career.
"I'm really happy to be teammates with the great Manilla Santos," said Lazaro. "I'm looking forward to that."
Lazaro joins a Choco Mucho team that placed seventh in the 2019 PVL Open Conference. However, her debut has to wait as the league remains on hold due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The former Ateneo star had already been training with the Flying Titans for two months when they had to stop all activities.
"Noong una, sabi two weeks lang daw, then we'll come back. Kami, sabi namin, sayang naman 'yung na-build up na namin na teamwork, and 'yung strength and endurance namin," Lazaro lamented. "And then, napatagal ng two months."
"So hopefully, we get back to training soon," she added. "I'm sure a lot of athletes are looking forward to training and playing again. But you know, patience is a virtue."
Lazaro is staying in shape with home workouts together with her husband, PBA player LA Revilla. Like many athletes during the lockdown, they are making do with the equipment they have at home. The couple bought dumbbells, bands, and mats to reinforce their training programs.
"It's so hard to look to the future," Lazaro also admits. "There's so much uncertainty… There are a lot of factors that we have to take in before we start practice, or before you start the league."
"I think it's gonna take a while for everything to go back to normal."
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