Tired of runner-up finishes, Soltones clings on to Alyssa Valdez's advice

Mark Escarlote on Jan 18, 2016 03:33 PM
Soltones clings on to Alyssa Valdez's advice
Sabi niya na basta maniwala ka lang na kaya mo, magagawa mo --- Grethcel Soltones

San Sebastian’s ace hitter Grethcel Soltones established herself into becoming the face of the NCAA volleyball.

Springy and always jolly but a very vicious attacker inside the court, Soltones collected numerous individual awards, won titles in the amateur league and became a member of the national team that saw action in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games last year.

But only one thing eluded the Queen Lady Stag for years: the NCAA crown.

Again back in the championship round, Soltones hopes that fate will favor their side this time to erase years of frustration.

SSC-R will open the 91st NCAA women’s volleyball championship series against a hungry College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan.

The pride of Catmon, Cebu worked doubly hard to carry the Lady Stags in completing a nine-game elimination round sweep for an outright Finals appearance armed with a thrice-to-beat advantage.   

The reigning Most Valuable Player admitted that being the main offensive option of the team is tiring, but she knows that she has to roll with the punches to achieve their main goal.          

“Nakakapagod talaga pero hindi ko naman iniisip na pagod ako kasi three years na kaming nasa Finals. Finals lang, Finals lang parati and siguro naman ‘yung iba kong teammates gusto na ring manalo (ng championship),” she said. “Hindi ko ipinapakita na lnapapagod ako kasi baka ma-down sila.”

SSC-R last won the crown back in Season 86 and was the bride’s maid twice against Perpetual. The Lady Stags were swept by Arellano University in Season 90.

“Noong una naisip ko siyang frustration pero iniisip ko rin ang kalaban ko na ginagawa rin naman nila ‘yung best nila as well as ‘yung team ko,” Soltones added.

To uplift her spirit, Soltones clings to one advice given to her by no less than Ateneo de Manila star Alyssa Valdez, her national team and amateur league teammate.

“Iniisip ko na lang lagi ‘yung sinabi ni Ate Alyssa na once na mag-training ka ng mag-training, pinagpapa-training ka ng coach mo, may kulang pa sa’yo. So gawin mo lang ng gawin 'yung sinasabi sa training, magagawa mo din (makuha ang gusto mo),” Soltones said. “So ibig sabihin may kulang talaga sa amin and dapat naming punan kung ano ‘yung kulang.”

“Sabi niya na basta maniwala ka lang na kaya mo, magagawa mo,” she added.




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