Jovelyn Gonzaga gives up national team slot to pass buck to younger gen

Apr 22, 2021
PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

THE 'Bionic Ilongga' has officially passed on the chance to rejoin the indoor volleyball national team.

Her reason? To make way to the new sets of talents.

Jovelyn Gonzaga made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon via Instagram, revealing that she's begging off from the Philippine team tryouts invitation.

"Thank you indoor volleyball! That was a great journey with you. Bigay na natin sa may karapat-dapat," she said in the post.

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In an online interview with SPIN Life, she clarified that it's only the national team slot she's foregoing.

"Tuloy pa rin ako sa mga pro leagues sa indoor," she said.

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The 29-year-old former captain has had her fair share of experiences representing the Philippines. She even served as its captain in 2015.

But now, the soft-spoken Guimaras native is ready to end this chapter in her career, a sacrifice she's willing to take for the future of the game.

She believes there's a bunch of younger talents deserving of slots.

"Very vocal naman ako para sa ikaka-progress ng Philippine volleyball, support lang tayo," she said.

In a previous interview with SPIN.ph, she also named three young players she has in mind: Eya Laure, Angel Canino, and Alyssa Solomon.

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    "Kung may mas bata na alam naman nating deserving talaga. Okay yun walang problema sa akin susuportahan natin yun," Gonzaga added. "For now it’s time for me to take a new route."

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    As she revealed her decision, tributes poured in from her colleagues.

    Alyssa Valdez was among the first ones to send her a grand farewell. The 'Phenom' dedicated an IG post to her "idol."

    "It was an honor to share the court with you, idol," she said, uploading a photo of the two of them.

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    Jov replied: "I will miss you my roomate. Goodluck!! I'll be watching and cheering from afar.. Love you #ParaSaBayan."

    Julia Morado, Eya Laure, Rachel Daquis, and Carmela Tunay also sent their regards via the comments section. She also posted a screenshot of her inbox filled with sweet personal messages from Jaja Santiago, Mika Reyes, Charleen Behag, Myla Pablo, Maddie Madayag, and Kim Kianna Dy,

    She added a caption: "These girls, I will surely miss."

    Gonzaga is looking to serve the country in another way as she continues with her duty as a sergeant in the Army. In the time of a pandemic, she says this is on top of her priority as she takes a new course within the organization.

    "Thank you sa pagmamahal niyo, pagbubutihan ko," she said.

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    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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