Former import reunites with Filipina teammates
Mark Escarlote on Oct 24, 2019 05:28 PM
Gunma Bank Green Wings team captain Minami Yoshioka and former F2 Logistics teammates Aby Marano, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili.
TOKYO --- The Philippine national team’s tune-up game Thursday against Gunma Bank Green Wings turned out as a mini reunion of sorts for Japanese Minami Yoshioka and her former F2 Logistics teammates Aby Marano, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili.
Yoshioka, the team captain of the Japan second division league club, played for the Cargo Movers in the 2018 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix as its import libero.
It was a welcome surprise for the three Filipinas to see Yoshioka greeting the squad with a warm smile as the Nationals entered the Gunma GB Sports Center in Gunma, a two-hour bus ride from the team’s hotel in Sagamihara.
“Nagulat kami na nandito pala siya. Nakakatuwa talaga,” said libero Dawn Macandili.
Yoshioka actually didn’t get a chance to see action with Baron and Macandili during that conference as the duo were then playing in their last year with the eventual UAAP Season 80 champions De La Salle University. But they did get some time to train together during the course of the UAAP and Grand Prix tournaments.
She did, however, played alongside Marano in the Cargo Movers’ runner-up finish. Yoshioka won the Best Libero award that year.
“Nagulat ako na nandito pala siya,” said Marano, the national team skipper. Actually, nag-message pala siya sa akin sa messenger na maglalaro pala kami, di ko nakita. Nalaman ko lang pagdating nu’ng sinabi niya sa akin na nag-message siya.”
“Sayang. Kung alam ko lang may nai-prepare sana ako na ibibigay sa kanya. Nakakahiya may regalo pa naman siya sa amin,” she added.
The Green Wings led by head coach Isihara Akihisa were very welcoming to the Philippine team and even hosted a lunch at the plush Royal Chester just a across the GB Sports Center.
The two squads played in two tune-up games with the Filipinas only winning one set in seven frames played.
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