It’s Yongco’s time to shine
ABS-CBN Sports on May 05, 2017 08:30 PM
Iari Yongco (right) celebrates after scoring on a deep spike.
Five-foot-10 Iari Yongco, 26, is always remembered as the jolliest of the Lady Jet Spikers of Philippine Air Force on and off the court.
She’s always ready with a bright smile, quick with her wit and humor, and easy with an affectionate hug and beso-beso here and there for friends, teammates, and fans.
This time, though, she will be remembered as well as one utility spiker the opposing teams in the ongoing maiden season of the Premier Volleyball League will have to watch out for. Yan is now attacking with much ferocity and power and higher accuracy.
She already made her mark in the first two games of the Lady Jet Setters in the PVL, another ambitious undertaking of Sports Vision, the creator of the hugely successful V-League, with Asics as its official league partner and Mikasa as its official game ball.
A native of Hagonoy, Bulacan but who now resides in Bacoor, Cavite, Yongco turned in the third highest scores among the Lady Jet Setters in their losing opening campaign against Balipure. She sizzled in the next outing as she and teammate Joy Cases each ran up 17 points to lead Air Force past Perlas Spikers in five sets.
The Yongco fans are seeing now on the court is vastly different from the Yongco of recent years. A first-priority substitute on the previous Air Force squads, she is now part of coach Jasper Jimenez’s first team and she indeed is responding well to the challenge.
Yongco, a tourism graduate from De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, credits the shoulder-strengthening therapy she has been doing since the start of 2017 for the power in her attacks.
“I’m doing it on my own after our regular training because I really want to have more playing time.”
Discipline is also playing a great part in her attempt to raise her game. Whether she’s in Cebu where she’s regularly posted as an Airwoman 2nd Class or in Manila training and playing for the Lady Troopers in a tournament, she spends her free time just eating and sleeping. Kain-tulog is how she describes her regimen after work or play.
Helping herself is the mantra of this very nice woman with a sunshiny disposition.
“If I can do it myself, then I will do it no matter what it entails,” she says with conviction.
In fact, it was she who basically taught herself to be good at volleyball. She learned the sport late when she was taken in as a member of the second team of the Far Eastern U Lady Tamaraws primarily because of her height. She was ready when she was recruited by DLSU-Dasmarinas for its varsity team.
She says she really had had no interest in volleyball in her much younger years even if his father had played collegiate volleyball. But when she embraced the sport starting with her time in FEU, she has been hooked into it ever since.
Like Iumi, one of her younger twin sisters, who had also played for La Salle-Dasmarinas after her and who now plays for a commercial team as well.