Nothing but full support from dad for Jerrili Malabanan

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 29, 2017 09:29 AM
Nothing but full support from dad for Jerrili Malabanan
Meet the Malabanan family, a permanent fixture wherever Jerrili plays. Left to right: Dad Jerry and daughters Jerrimae, Jennifer, Jerrili and Janice. Not in photo is Mom Liberty, who’s still in California doing maritime office work.

Since moving back from Fullerton, California to settle here for good with his family, Miguel ‘Jerry’ Malabanan boasts that in the four years that eldest daughter Jerrili, 22, has been playing for the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws and now with the BaliPure Water Defenders as well, he missed watching live only one of her games.

“I had to attend an important birthday celebration that one time that I didn’t go to her game,” the senior Malabanan explained.

Otherwise, he’s always around wherever Jerrili plays for whichever team often in the company of his three other daughters – Janice, 20; Jennifer, 16; and Jerrimae, 10 – and relatives. And sometimes with wife Liberty whenever she’s home from her maritime office job in California every three months or so.

Mommy even surprised Jerrili when she flew home unannounced last June to watch BaliPure’s extended best-of-three title series against Pocari Sweat in the PVL Reinforced Conference, which the Lady Warriors won.

For one FEU game in the last UAAP at MOA, Mang Jerry reported that the family brought along a large group of relatives to root for his Jerrili and for whom he remembered buying 35 box tickets.

“I don’t mind spending just to let my daughter know we fully support her,” said the former US Postal Service employee.

Not only is his eldest daughter making him proud with her scintillating showing in the sport he had played with such fervor in his youth in Bacoor, Cavite, she’s also complying with his strict no-boyfriend-while-still-studying decree for all his girls. So are Janice and Jennifer to their dad’s pleasure.

“I’m the only son among eight siblings and all my sisters, following our father’s wish, never had boyfriends while they were studying. I want the same for my daughters, but they are free to marry anytime after they’ve received their diplomas.”

Jerrili and Janice, according to Mang Jerry, are set to finish their BS Biology course this school year and both intend to further take up Medicine just like three of their aunts on their father’s side.

He described his firstborn as “tahimik, mabait at hindi sumasagot sa matanda.” He forgot to add mahinhin. Even on the floor, his daughter, though a quiet operator and a powerful spiker, moves rather daintily.

Jerrili is averaging 12 points per game in the second Conference of the PVL, a joint undertaking of Sports Vision as organizer, Asics as its official league partner, and Mikasa as its official game ball. She chalked up 17 points against the Hairy Fairy Shampoo-Air Force Lady Jet Spikers, and 16 apiece against the Power Smashers and the Adamson Lady Falcons.


Family of volleyball players

Besides Jerrili, her two other sisters are into competitive volleyball as well. Until recently, Janice was a member of the FEU Lady Tamaraws B team. Jennifer is playing for the FEU Diliman high school squad.

They must have inherited their sporting genes and passion for the sport from Mang Jerry who, in his youth, played mais-mais (old-style volleyball played with big bets) for 10 years in the sandlots of Mabolo, Bacoor.

In Lyceum, he was on the threshold of making history when he was easily named to the school’s first varsity team in the sport. But alas, it was not to be. The team lacked the necessary number of players and was discontinued even before it could take off.

At 28 he left for California, worked at the US Postal Service for 27 years while raising a family (all her daughters, he said, were born in the US), stayed for a few more years there before relocating back to the Philippines with his family.

The relocation was not planned, though. “Jerrili wanted to play in the Philippines even if she had club offers in the States, in the East Coast. But I rather that she play here, in the UAAP particularly.”

Jerrili got her wish and thru her, Miguel ‘Jerry’ Malabanan has been reliving his dream of playing in the big school league in his country of birth.

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