NU rookie Panique hopes to prove mettle in Alas Pilipinas

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
NU rookie Panique hopes to prove mettle in Alas Pilipinas
Ara Panique

MANILA, Philippines – Ara Panique is just days removed from winning a UAAP championship, but new challenges already await with her call-up with Alas Pilipinas, where she is the only rookie in the lineup for the upcoming 2024 AVC Challenge Cup.

Flanked with the likes of professional volleyball stars like Jia Morado-De Guzman, Eya Laure, Vanie Gandler and Dawn Macandili, Panique hopes to be a sponge in learnings that she can bring to future tournaments — whether with the Lady Bulldogs or other Alas Pilipinas showings.

“For me, honored lang ako kasi kinuha ulit ako ni coach Jorge [Souza de Brito] for AVC and sobrang thankful po ako sa mga ates na nandiyan lagi sa amin na nag-ga-guide po and pinu-push po kami na kayanin every training. Happy lang talaga ako,” she said during the team’s introductory press conference on Monday.

Panique stepped up to the plate after an injury to UE’s Casiey Dongallo, and with her NU teammates Bella Belen and Alyssa Solomon begging off from the team.

With big shoes to fill, Panique said that she simply wants to play her game — just like she did with the Lady Bulldogs. And while she’s out to prove herself, she’s also consciously keeping her head level.

“[Expectation ko po is] yung ipakita ko lang po kung ano yung pinapakita ko sa UAAP, and siguro po, yung eagerness ko din po is iaapply ko din po para makatulong po sa ates and focus po inside the court and communication din po lalo na po bago lang po kami nagsama,” she said. 

Only finishing their UAAP campaign last week, Panique and runners-up DLSU Lady Spikers only had a few days of rest before coming back to action. Even with the busy schedule, the UAAP champion will make her best effort to help Alas Pilipinas.

“Actually, two days lang po ako nakasama sa kanila, sa training ganon. So, siguro po, ita-trabaho ko nalang po yung kaya ko trabahuhin,” she added.

Despite her young career and short preparation time, Panique is keen on playing whatever role De Brito gives her in the pocket tournament.

Panique and the rest of Alas Pilipinas fire off their campaign on Thursday, May 23, against Australia at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

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