MANILA, Philippines -- Deanna Wong is excited to play with her collegiate teammates once more when she joins Choco Mucho in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
Before that, however, she needs to regain her match fitness after a prolonged absence from the game.
Wong played a key role in Ateneo de Manila University's run to the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball crown, but opted to sit out Season 82 to recover from a stress fracture in her right shin. She has not played since Ateneo's finals triumph over University of Santo Tomas (UST) in May 2019.
"Siguro, 'yung goal ko as of now is to get back to my playing form," Wong said. "It's been so long since the last time I played a game talaga."
With Wong out, it was sophomore setter Janel Maraguinot who made plays for the Lady Eagles in their abbreviated title defense in UAAP Season 82.
"Nakaka-miss din, kasi more than a year of sitting out due to an injury," Wong said. "Mainly, (I want) to be able to get my rhythm back in playing, and hopefully, tuloy-tuloy."
Chemistry won't be a problem for Wong and the Flying Titans, as she will be making plays for her longtime teammates.
Wong joins a team that already features former Ateneo standouts Bea de Leon, Kat Tolentino, and Maddie Madayag. Another Lady Eagle icon, Denden Lazaro, is their new libero. The setter is also very familiar with the system of the team, as they are coached by Ateneo mentor Oliver Almadro.
"Super excited ako, kasi I'd be playing with my former teammates again," she said. "We've played togegther for years, and we share the same system under Coach O."
"So, it's easy for us to be able to play together, knowing also that we've known each other for a long time," Wong added. "It makes me comfortable to play with them."
It remains to be seen, however, when Wong can make her debut with Choco Mucho. The PVL has yet to announce its schedule for its new season, with its plans halted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Aside from Wong, Choco Mucho also signed former UST standout Caitlyn Viray to the squad.
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