Jovelyn Gonzaga of Cignal

Jovelyn Gonzaga credits national team stint for improved game
(philstar.com) - November 14, 2017 - 3:52am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s volleyball team may have failed to achieve its mission, but the lessons it gained are starting to rub off on its players.

One of the most seasoned members of the team — Jovelyn Gonzaga — admitted that she’s reaping the fruits of their sacrifices now that she’s starring for Cignal in the ongoing Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix.

Gonzaga spearheaded the HD Spikers to a 2-3 win-loss card, including a convincing straight-set conquest of Iriga City where she delivered 15 attacks.

“Sobrang nakaka-boost talaga ng confidence ang pagiging part ko ng national team,” said Gonzaga, who made her international debut when she campaigned in the beach volleyball competition of the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia.

“Nakita mo kasi ang iba’t-ibang style ng laro sa international tournaments so pagdating dito, nakakapagisip-isip ka na,” she added.

The past couple of months had been extremely busy for Gonzaga and the Nationals.

With two major international tournaments in the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in the horizon, the Nationals embarked on a 17-day training camp in Japan.

They worked out under the watchful eyes of noted Japanese mentor Akiyoshi Kawamoto and the elite Okayama Seagulls before moving the camp to Osaka and Kobe where they faced top university and club teams.

In the AVC, they battled Asian powerhouse Japan, China and South Korea before flying to Kuala Lumpur to face Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam in the SEA Games.

Unfortunately, the Philippines failed to achieve its bid of coming up with a bronze-medal finish.

But for Gonzaga, the experience was worth it.

“Na-realize ko na hindi lang pala dapat puro palo,” said Gonzaga, who went on to join the PSL All-Star team in a tournament in Sisaket, Thailand shortly after arriving from Kuala Lumpur.

“Kailangan pala magkaroon din ng variations at matutunan din basahin ang kalaban. Malaki talaga ang naging maturity namin pagkatapos nun.”

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