PVL: It feels so good to be back -- Santos-Ng
Mark Escarlote on Aug 14, 2019 05:13 PM
Same venue 10 years ago. It feels so good to be back -- Manilla Santos-Ng
It was a fitting homecoming for legendary hitter Manilla Santos-Ng.
A decade after playing her last game as a De La Salle University Lady Spiker in the UAAP at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan, Santos-Ng made her return to competitive volleyball on Wednesday but this time donning the ChocoMucho’s purple jersey.
The four-time UAAP champion saw action – albeit in a reserve role – in the newcomer Flying Titans’ 25-12, 25-18, 25-18, victory over BaliPure in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference.
Santos-Ng, a mother of two, was fielded midway in the first set with ChocoMucho holding on to a 15-8 lead as she was subbed in for Shang Berte.
“Same venue 10 years ago. It feels so good to be back,” said Santos-Ng, whose last game in the venue minus the taraflex was back in March 8, 2009 in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 71 Finals when DLSU dethroned the then Rachel Anne Daquis-led Far Eastern University.
“I really can’t believe na makapaglaro ako. I was given this opportunity to play again. Super happy,” added Santos-Ng, the UAAP Season 71 Most Valuable Player.
The 34-year old, 5-foot-4 hitter, also known to be a dangerous player at the service line, displayed her vintage form as ChocoMucho scored six straight points including two aces from Santos-Ng with her last service winner giving the Flying Titans their biggest lead, 21-8.
“Sa totoo lang super excited ako to play at the same time may kaba kasi it’s been a long time,” she admitted. “Pero kanina nu’ng naka-serve ako pumasok siya medyo nagkaroon ako ng kumpiyansa. Thankful ako na napagbigyan ako ng ganoon chance and I’ll make sure na kung ano yung pinagawa sa akin ni coach ma-execute ko ng maayos.”
Santos-Ng finished with two points, playing only in the first and second sets.
“Nasa 7 or 8, we’re working on it and hopefully makahabol pa,” rated Santos-Ng on her performance.
Head coach Oliver Almadro was all praises on Santos-Ng’s presence inside the court.
“For me, hindi ko na kailangan ipakilala si Illa pa kasi we know naman what she can do,” said Almadro, who also worked with Santos-Ng during her college days as head coach Ramil De Jesus’ deputy. “Sabi ko nga medyo yung muscle magde-deteriorate ng konti but yung presence, will, determination will always be there.”
Santos-Ng didn’t get a chance to attack during her first stint but remains very patient for that opportunity to display her signature high-flying power hits.
“Darating din yun,” she said.
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