Idols, fans both enjoy every moment of All-Star Sunday
A male fan is relishing his selfie moment with (from left seated at the table), Ran-Ran Abdilla, Jerrili Malabanan, Creaks Racraquin, and Rex Intal.
Volleyball-crazy couple Gerardo and Zenaida Reyes travelled all the way from Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, to come face-to-face with their idols in the featured meet-and-greet attraction of the much-talked about Premier Volleyball League All-Star Sunday, Oct. 29, at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The 63-year-old wife, a retired nurse, said she goes gaga over the Ateneo Lady Blue Eagles particularly middle blockers Bea de Leon and Amy Ahomiro, two of 45 PVL stars on hand that bright Sunday to interact with fans, sign autographs, and oblige selfie requests.
Her husband, an engineer and six years her junior, belongs to a different breed of fans.
He digs every player who is exceptionally talented, be he or she a spiker, setter or libero. Without missing a beat, he rattled off the names of Marck Espejo, Peter Torres, Ish Polvorosa, Vince Mangulabnan, Myla Pablo, Jia Morado, Grethcel Soltones, Diana Mae Carlos, Isa Molde, and many more whose court brilliancies he said takes his breath away.
Guarding their positions in a long queue of PVL diehards who each would have a chance at every one of the white-shirted volleyball luminaries seated at blue cloth-covered tables joined end-to-end, Mrs. Reyes was looking forward to getting the autographs of and be photographed with de Leon and Ahomiro.
Oh, Mr. Reyes was prepared to make the most of his personal encounters with his heroes and heroines, and there were 45 of them lined up for him.
There were the Hashimoto sisters of GMA, Cavite – Nicole, 18, and Yuki, 9 – who came with half-sister Pau Franco, 23. The two younger ones couldn’t wait to see Jia Morado up close and personal.
Businesswoman Cristina Fernando, 47, and a mother of four, arrived with two other companions. She was overly excited at her meet-and-greet moment with Amy Ahomiro.
Pat Quiamzon, 18, and younger sibling Tin-Tin, 12, both studying in Paref Woodrose in Ayala, Alabang, came over for Bea de Leon.
Who would they encounter first but handsome Tawi-Tawi pride Fauzi Ismail of National University seated beside Grethcel Soltones of PVL Open champion BaliPure?
Next at the long table offering what veritably looked like mouth-watering dishes were the good-looking specimens of malehood, Ran-Ran Abdilla of Philippine Air Force and former Ateneo Eagle Rex Intal, who is now with Cignal, book-casing the beautiful pair of Jerrili Malabanan of Far Eastern University and BaliPure and Ceska Racraquin of San Beda College and Creamline.
Whoever thought up these seating arrangements of the PVL standouts was a genius, not much unlike a master chef arraying his sumptuous dishes and concoctions in a not-be-outdone presentation.
And so Mrs. Reyes, Mrs. Fernando, the Hashimoto sisters, the Quiamzon siblings quickly forgot their original intents of just being contented with seeing their particular volleyball idols.
As quick as lightning, they had their selfies with Ismael and Soltones, then with Abdilla, Malabanan, Racraquin and Intal, besides getting their autographs.
This was the second straight year that Sports Vision was staging the All-Star games. First-time All-Stars Malabanan, Racraquin, and setter Timothy Tajanlangit of the University of Santo Tomas were tremendously enjoying their share of fans’ adulation.
“We feel like we were really celebrities,” said Malabanan. Oh you already are, girl, remember that.
“I like the feeling of interacting with fans,” gushed Racraquin. “It’s a one-of-a-kind feeling. I make them happy and they make me happier.
A quiet fellow, Gen. Santos City-born Tajanlangit, was bursting with joy at his selection as an All-Star. “I will never forget this moment when fans are getting my autographs besides having selfies with me.”
Originally set for two hours, the autograph-signing and photo ops lasted for yet over an hour more.
Each of the lucky fans went home with a memento or two of this grand spectacle that was the PVL All-Star Sunday.
See you next season.