Dimaculangan seeks redemption in PHI team return
Mark Escarlote on Oct 29, 2019 05:30 PM
Siguro kung kinulang man kami noon mas ibibigay pa namin ang best namin ngayon -- Rhea Dimaculangan
TOKYO --- Denied of a podium finish two years ago, veteran setter Rhea Dimaculangan, just like the entire Philippine national women’s volleyball team, has her eyes set on winning a medal in front of the home crowd in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila next month.
Reactivated for the national squad after withdrawing from the team last year, Dimaculangan is now bent on helping steer the Philippine team in the right direction to end a 14-year medal drought.
“Siguro kung kinulang man kami noon mas ibibigay pa namin ang best namin ngayon,” said Dimaculangan, who played in the previous two editions of the biennial meet, where the Philippines went home empty-handed.
The former University of Sto. Tomas star skipped national team duties last year because of personal reasons.
But the call to represent the country in the SEA Games is too great to resist, so when national team head coach Shaq Delos Santos - who was her mentor back in college and is the coach of her club team Petron - tried to convince her to return, Dimaculangan obliged.
“Naisip ko na rin din na duty rin ito eh sa national team. Siguro parang di rin naman masama na bumalik and nakita ko naman na parang kailangan din nila ng tulong,” she said. “Nandito lang ako para tumulong and national team yan, so why not?”
Plus, playing on home soil is a rare opportunity to that can't be missed.
“Sayang din ang opportunity kung palalagpasin ko ito kasi especially sa Pilipinas gagawin ang SEA Games,” she said.
Inserted in the SEA Games line-up earlier this month at the entry of names deadline, Dimaculangan seamlessly fit in with the team.
“Di naman mahirap mag-adjust din kasi parang ‘yung iba naman nakasama ko na before,” said Dimaculangan. “Siguro mas kailangan ko lang i-adjust ang sarili ko sa iba-ibang sets pero di naman siya ganoon kahirap kasi tulungan lang sa team. Gina-guide rin naman nila ako. Ok naman. Di naman mahirap makisama.”
Dimaculangan is the only playmaker left in the 12-day training camp here, made possible by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the Philippine Sports Commission, after Jia Morado returned to Manila just five days in because of club duties, and reserve Jasmin Nabor failing to have her papers processed in time to join the team.
For Dimaculangan, she’s happy to see the team improve each day.
“Di ko masasabi ang percent pero sa ilang araw ko pa lang na nakakasama sila training parang mabilis siyang mag-improve,” she said. “[Sa tune-up games] nakikita namin ang struggle pero at least dun kami natututo at nakikita namin kung saan kami mahina. Kung ano ang dapat gawin at kung ano ang mga solusyon para maayos yung mga problema na yun.”
And with the kind of preparation the Philippine team is going through, Dimaculangan’s dream of winning a medal isn’t far-fetched anymore.
“Siguro mas prepared ngayon kasi marami rin namang liga na magkakasama. Kahit makikita mo yung shchedule na hindi lagi buo pero makikita mo naman na committed ang lahat,” she said. Feeling ko naman kaya naman [mag-podium]. Ang goal mo is maka-medal.”
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