Sabi nila umatras na raw ako sa lineup -- Baliton
Mark Escarlote on Mar 15, 2017 06:49 PM
University of the East setter Roselle Baliton speaks up after the bashings she received when she was named part of the national women's volleyball team pool.
"Sabi nila umatras na raw ako sa lineup." (They said I should just pull out of the lineup)
This and more hurtful messages flooded the cellphone and social media account of University of the East setter Roselle Baliton when her name was included in the 25-man national women’s team pool Tuesday.
Criticisms rained down on Baliton and national team coach Francis Vicente when the converted playmaker made the cut.
Seasoned setters Kim Fajardo and Rhea Dimaculangan made it to the pool, but the glaring absence of Ateneo de Manila playmaker Jia Morado coupled with Baliton's surprise inclusion drew the ire of rabid volleyball fans.
“Actually noong hindi pa ako nag-online may nagte-text na sa akin (ng masasakit). So naisip ko na sa text pa nga lang meron na so sa internet meron na rin, hindi ko kilala,” said Baliton after the Lady Warriors’ 14-25, 25-18, 15-25, 10-25 loss to University of the Philippines Wednesday in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
Vicente defended the decision of the three-man selection committee to include the 6-foot-1 third year player in the pool where he will pick the players that will participate in the Asian U-23 championship in May in Thailand, Asian Women’s Seniors Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The mentor pointed out that he wanted to take advantage of the playmaker’s height and at the same time said that Morado was invited to join the special tryouts last March 12, but failed to show up or inform him of her intent to join the pool.
Ateneo officials denied the claim of Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. that they sent invites to their players to participate in the tryouts for NCAA and UAAP volleybelles.
LVPI held three open tryouts in Manila, Cebu and Davao.
A total of 37 players attended the Manila leg held at Arellano University gym in Taft Ave. last January 28, 29 and 31. Among them were current UAAP players including Jaja Santiago, Ria Meneses, Baliton and Fajardo, who are all in the pool.
Vicente’s reasons for accepting Baliton was unacceptable to fans and the setter absorbed the brunt of criticisms and bashing.
“Sabi, umatras na daw ako sa lineup kasi madami na nagba-bash tapos trending daw ako sa Twitter hindi dahil sa support kundi dahil sa pamba-bash,” said Baliton.
The business management student admitted that she was affected with the bashings but as much as possible tried to shrug everything off.
“Oo, masakit kasi jina-judge nila si coach na may authority pero ako deadma na lang. Sa internet naman nababasa ko kasi sabog ang notifications ko pero hinayaan ko na lang,” she said. “OK na lang deadma na lang.”
“May mga nababasa ako na (hindi maganda) pero ganoon talaga part talaga ng life ‘yun sa pag-grow. Siyempre madami nakatutok sa lineup, sa coaches, sa players, part ‘yun so tanggap lang,” she added.
Baliton also accepted the fact that she still has much to improve on especially that she’s just on her first year of conversion into a setter from a middle blocker.
“Nahu-hurt din pero kasi accepted ko na sabihin nila na raw pa ako, hilaw pa ako as setter na syempre madami rin naman mas magaling din,” said Baliton.
But despite the bashings, Baliton stayed strong with the help of her teammates. It motivated her to improve and prove her critics wrong.
“Yes po (mas motivated ako) kasi ‘di ba ang mga negative comments sa akin nasasabayan din ‘yun ng teammates ko na ‘OK lang ‘yun Ate Sel,’” she said. “So nali-lift up pa ako tapos may mga comments din na positive din. So doon na lang ako nagfo-focus kesa ma-down pa ang sarili ko.”
“Kasi siyempre madaming tao talaga na gusto ako ma-down pero it’s OK lang part lang din ‘yun,” said the Lady Warrior.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles