Former Tigress Banaticla hoping to make a volleyball comeback
Mark Escarlote on Feb 07, 2019 04:04 PM
Former University of Sto. Tomas star Maru Banaticla donned her Tigresses no. 9 jersey in an exhibition match against the current crop of Espana-based volleybelles.
Former University of Sto. Tomas standout Maru Banaticla is looking to make a comeback in competitive volleyball after years of hiatus.
But the champion hitter admits that she has a lot of work to do to get back in the same form she had back when she starred in the Tigresses’ last UAAP title almost a decade ago.
The 25-year old Banaticla’s last club stint was with PLDT back in 2013 in the Philippine Superliga. She is currently an employee under the finance department of the telecommunications giant.
“Naglalaro ako sa MVP Olympics pero it’s not as competitive as PSL or PVL (Premier Volleyball League) eh. So parang yun ang pinagkaka-busyhan ko na every other year lang siya,” said Banaticla, who with other former Tigresses played against the current UST squad in an exhibition match Wednsday night at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion which serves as a pep rally for the coming UAAP Season 81 volleyball tournament.
“Pero I’m looking forward na makapaglaro pa rin soon given na sobrang lumaki ako or something,” added the two-time UAAP beach volleyball champion.
The current Tigresses defeated Banaticla’s Alumni team in straight sets.
“We’ll see in the future leagues pero I’m hoping din talaga. Kasi I really have to make myself na sobrang condition before I decide to join a commercial league,” said Banaticla, the UAAP beach volleyball Rookie of the Year in Season 72 and Most Valuable Player in Season 75. “For now nagwo-work lang ako sa PLDT.”
Banaticla during her prime was one of UST’s reliable scorers. She played alongside other Tigresses legends Angge Tabaquero, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Maika Ortiz, Judy Anne Caballejo and Rhea Dimaculangan.
Banaticla in her rookie year helped the Espana-based squad capture the Season 72 indoor volleyball crown – UST’s last title - but decided to forego her fifth and last playing year to seek employment and play in the PSL.
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