PVL: CSB finds a jewel to keep in Lai
Mark Escarlote on Jul 22, 2018 08:50 PM
Setter Jewel Lai found a new beginning in College of St. Benilde.
Setter Jewel Lai almost gave up pursuing her volleyball dream after a series of misfortunes that barred her from playing the sport in the collegiate level.
Now given a second chance with College of St. Benilde, the playmaker is making the most out of it.
“Siguro, sobrang saya ko lang talaga na nakakalaro na ako ulet,” said Lai.
The setter tallied 25 points and scored six markers in the Lady Blazers’ sorry 19-25, 30-32, 25-15, 26-24, 4-15, loss to Far Eastern University Sunday in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
It was Lai’s first tournament since leaving University of the Philippines three years ago because of academic problems. Lai played for two years with the Lady Maroons.
After leaving the Diliman-based school, Lai was recruited by then CSB coach Macky Carino.
But her supposed stint with the Taft-based squad last year hit a roadblock.
“Nakulangan ako ng documents sa Benilde. Nakulangan ako ng one term to play,” she said.
Sitting out another year was frustrating for Lai, who forced to watch from the sidelines during NCAA Season 93.
“May time na nawalan ako ng gana, gusto ko na lang mag-aral, ayaw ko nang maglaro,” Lai admitted. “Pero, wala eh. Buhay ko volleyball. Pag ilang days akong nawawala sa training, hinahanap ko ng katawan ko agad. Hindi ko talaga mabitawan 'yung pagiging player.”
Now reunited with former UP head coach Jerry Yee, the setter is just excited for the coming NCAA season.
“Okay naman. May history na kami before. Back to unity,” she said. “Siguro, tulong rin kasi kilala namin 'yung isa't isa so nagki-click kami when it comes to plays, decision making.”
For now, Lai is focused on developing her court chemistry with the Lady Blazers.
“Sobrang saya ko and excited kasi offseason na ng NCAA. Exposure namin ito. Siyempre, naninibago ulet kasi ngayon lang ako nakalaro after two years. Nag-aadjust pa,” she said.
With a new school and back to playing her passion, Lai is now a jewel to keep for CSB.
“Dito nakikita ko 'yung future ko na dito ako makakapagtapos, makakapagsimula ulet, makakabangon,” she quipped. “Sobrang saya ko lang talaga.”
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