The Mangulabnans: All in the family
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 15, 2016 01:44 PM
The Mangulabnans pose for a group photo after Maji’s first ever game in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference as one of UST’s two guest players. From left: Ayen, Vince’s wife, mom Nookie, Maji, Hannah, Kyle and Vince.
Before Maji Mangulabnan’s breakthrough performance as a setter on Aug. 3 in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13-Collegiate Conference, most volleyball fans only knew of siblings Vince and Hannah Mangulaban.
Hannah used to play for the UP Lady Fighting Maroons and Vince for the NU Bulldogs, both able to draw more than considerable attention in the UAAP particularly Vince.
Seventeen-year-old Maji’s grand entrance in the V-League as guest setter of the UST Growling Tigresses trotted out the immediate fact that she’s the younger sister of Vince and Hannah – and a lot more interesting info about the volleyball-playing Mangulabnan family from Lipa, Batangas.
Of the seven children born to Jude and Nookie Mangulabnan, six actually played or are still playing volleyball. Only the second child and the eldest of three sons, Cherby, strayed on to the basketball court and became a highly competitive cager as well. Of the four daughters into volleyball, past and present, firstborn Patrese, now 28, and Hannah, 20, became spikers.
Like brothers Vince, 21, and Jan Frederick King, 14, Kyle Marie, 19, played as a setter, too, before she quit. So has been Maji since elementary and on to the remainder of the K-12 program.
Already a star!
None of the other Mangulabnans so far have had a strong start in volleyball as the willowy, doe-eyed youngest daughter.
Maji, according to mom Nookie, area chair of the Theology Department of De La Salle College of Lipa and a PAASCU accreditor as well, competed in two Palarong Pambansa as a member of the Calabarzon selection. She was with Eya Laure, younger sister of Tigress EJ Laure, the other sensational guest player of UST. It was in her second Palaro when she was in Grade VII when the talented duo were seen by the UST scouts and brought over to the Espana-based school the following year.
Since then they have been competing for UST in the Shakey’s Junior V-League, where last season the Espana senoritas captured the national championship and Maji was chosen tournament best setter. She already played for flag and country together with the younger Laure in the last Asian Under-17 Championship. So you see, Maji is already a star even before she and the younger Laure, national Junior V-League MVP and best spiker, made their first ever appearances as guest players in the Shakey’s V-League senior division.
Mom Nookie describes her youngest daughter as very playful, malikot, and makulit in her early years.
“Maji is never a shy person. I remember her tugging at her father’s shirt to call his attention to a senior player of our barangay team who kept making errors. She would tell Jude, ‘Papa, ipasok mo na ako, nagkakalat na si …’”
Into sport to control asthma
Dad Jude, one of the earliest call center employees this side of the planet, says his side of the family is very athletic. He himself once played competitive basketball and until now is doing a part-time job as assistant basketball coach.
But his children took up sport mainly to control their asthma.
He says, “The inclination of my family toward sports primarily started as a need and a way to control asthma. Five of the kids have asthma like me and Maji has the worst condition. And it worked for us.”
Nookie explains why all her children except one gravitated toward volleyball.
“All my kids finished grade school at De La Salle-Lipa. Patrese started the others in the sport. While the younger ones were waiting for me to finish my teaching and for their eldest sister to finish her volleyball training, they would hang around the volleyball court rather than the basketball court where their Kuya Cherby, now 26, was practicing in basketball.
“When the younger ones reach Grade III, they started playing for our school. Vince was trained as a spiker but shifted to the setter position. The others followed suit – Kyle, Maji and then Jan.”
Patrese, a former member of the DLSU-Manila B team, is now a doctorate student in Fukui University in Japan. She’s taking up Education Reform.
Hannah, who quit the UP squad after three years, is now focusing on her studies in Geodetic Engineering.