Joy Doromal: The Lady Bulldogs’ "It" girl
ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 11, 2016 10:52 PM
“May tiwala na po ako sa sarili at hindi na ninenerbiyos sa laro.” - NU's Joy Doromal
Who’s that girl?
Roma Joy Doromal doesn’t fail to elicit that question from fans, especially male fans, seeing her for the first time in full playing gear with the National University Lady Bulldogs.
The pretty five-foot-eight, 18-year-old lass from Dumangas, Iloilo always draws second and third and fourth glances from the Shakey’s V-League male staff working the floor whenever she strides on to the court for long, pre-game warm-ups.
And male fans become more admiring of her when she, always a starter for the Lady Bulldogs since the start of the Accel-and Mikasa-sponsored V-League Season 13-Collegiate Conference July 30, would scorch the court with crisp cross-court spikes.
On her third year with the Lady Bulldogs, who are defending their Collegiate Conference title against the Lady Blue Eagles in a best-of-three playoff starting on Monday, Sept. 12, Doromal says she now plays with confidence after two years of practically warming the bench.
“Binibigyan na po ako ngayon ng mas mahabang playing time,” she says rather shyly. “May tiwala na po ako sa sarili at hindi na ninenerbiyos sa laro.”
Coaxed into travelling back on her first two years with her team, Doromal, third among four children of an elementary school math and physical education teacher, says she was given very short playing time then, if given any playing time at all. “Parang magpi-freeze ako sa tuwing ipapasok sa laro. Malakas ang kaba ko at kahit magse-service lang, parang hindi ko kayang ipasok ang bola sa kabilang court. Ganoong kanerbiyos ako noon.”
There were times when Doromal even considered giving up, but her very supportive parents kept boosting her morale. Her father, who’d always take her to the volleyball games he was officiating when she was a little girl, would motivate her time and again, advising her to be patient for her time would surely come as well.
“Ako man po tinatanong ko ang aking sarile na baka kaya hindi ako ipinapasok sa laro, may kulang pa sa akin. Sa kagustuhan kong makilala rin sa pinili kong sport, sineryoso ko ang training. Saka inisip ko rin ang aking kapatid na naglalaro rin sa NU high school.”
Doromal must be a very good negotiator for she was able to hack out a package deal with the NU talent scouts, which included her younger sister Roma Mae, now 16, also going with her to NU over two years ago. Roma Mae has since been playing the libero position for the NU junior squad.
The older Doromal caught the attention of the ubiquitous Manila scouts as early as during the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association meets. After graduating from P.D. Monfort Elementary School in Dumangas, she entered high school in Central Philippine University in Iloilo City, where Jovelyn Gonzaga and Jen Reyes also came from.
From second year to fourth year high school, Doromal made every WVRAA selection to the Palarong Pambansa held in Pangasinan, Dumaguete and Laguna.
With her sporting career now going great guns, Doromal says she finds it easier to concentrate on her studies. She’s taking a full 26-unit load as a third year BSBA marketing management student. Whatever free time she has she spends on her studies.
“Gusto ko pong maging proud din sa akin ang parents ko sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaroon ng diploma.”
Her two older siblings finished schooling in Iloilo City. Roma Grace, the firstborn, graduated with a degree in nursing, and only brother John Romeo also got his diploma in hotel and restaurant management.
“Desidido rin po kami ni Roma Mae, ang aming bunso, na magtapos din sa kolehiyo.”
In case you’re wondering, the name Roma in the Doromal sisters’ full names is coined from their parents’ names, Romeo and Mandy.