Ponce and Igao: Two contrasting personas
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 17, 2018 05:48 PM
Two from Adamson-Akari: (L-R) Thang Ponce and MJ Igao, best libero and best setter awardees, respectively, in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Collegiate Conference, are now key players as well for their team in the season-ending PVL Open Conference.
Diminutive Tonnie Rose ‘Thang’ Ponce of Bataan and soft-spoken Mary Jane ‘MJ’ Igao of Cebu City put on contrasting personas in the heat of action as highly dependable players of Adamson-Akari in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
Thang is definitely not tongue-tied; she makes herself heard on the court.
In contrast, MJ is a quiet operator while she, as a setter, directs how plays should go.
Off the court, they shift characters, reverting to their usual selves. Thang becomes the quiet one and MJ, according to assistant coach Cherry Rose Macatangay, slips into her usual jolly and makulit self.
“Si Thang po ang talagang tahimik sa labas ng court,” MJ – or Gao to her teammates -- volunteers the information.
Hard to believe but true in the face of the fact that when the Lady Falcons play, Thang’s voice rings loud and clear either to celebrate a point, wail over a point lost or egg on a spiker to slam the ball hard or go chase the ball if she’s too far to run after it.
She screams, she hollers as loud as can be.
“Kailangan sabi ni coach (Airess Padda) maingay kami sa court, na masaya kami kaya nag-iingay ako,” explains Thang. “Kaya nasanay na po akong mag-ingay kapag naglalaro. Sa totoo lang tahimik na tao po ako.”
As setters go, it is MJ who is supposed to be the loud one, to be aggressive at the net, to instruct whomever she sets up the ball for to attack with all the power she’s capable of.
But she’s not, she admits, because she’s a rookie and can’t just command her spikers what to do.
“Pero wino-work out ko na po na sabihan o bigyan ng instruction ang mga spikers ko.”
Back in Cebu, at the University of San Carlos, MJ was a spiker.” Pero nakitaan siya ng potensyal na maging mahusay na setter kaya pagdating ng bata sa Adamson, sinanay na agad siyang maging setter,” says coach Macatangay.
Playing in her first tournament with the Adamson Lady Falcons in the PVL Collegiate Conference, MJ bagged the best setter award and Tang the best libero honors.
It warms the heart to know that these two student-athletes, greatly motivated by family or clan tradition, are as focused in finishing their studies.
MJ wants to add her own hospitality management diploma to those already achieved by her older siblings in engineering, accountancy, architecture and nursing.
Thang can’t afford as well not to graduate.
“Nakakahiya po na hindi gumradweyt. Nagtapos na po ng accountancy at IT ang dalawa kong mas nakakatandang kapatid. At saka lahat po ng miyembro ng aming angkan nagtapos ng kolehiyo,” shared Ponce.
“TARAY!” says MJ of Thang’s proud clan tradition.
In reaction, Thang gleefully initiates a high five with MJ.