BINAN CITY — After missing the last two games due to a back injury, Foton Pilipinas import Lindsay Stalzer made a last-minute decision to get back on the court in the 2016 AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship on Wednesday at Alonte Sports Arena here.
The 32-year old outside hitter sat out in Foton Pilipinas’ two losses – one against Vietnam in the group stage and against Japan in the classification for quarterfinals placing — but decided she was fit enough to play in a game against Altay VC of Kazakhstan, which they eventually lost, 25-27, 18-25, 21-25.
“We (and the management) went back and forth and back and forth about the decision a lot. So coming to the game, I was thinking I wouldn’t play and then they left the decision up to me,” Stalzer told SPIN.ph.
“So I said, ‘Okay, let me warm up and see how I feel.’ And I felt fine during the warm-up so I said, ‘Yeah it’s fine, I’ll play,’” she added.
But Stalzer, who had a team-high 11 points anchored on nine kills, revealed that she’s not yet fully recovered from back spasms that had sidelined her early in the tournament.
But the hard-hitting spiker, who was the MVP in Foton’s title run in last year’s Philippine Super Liga Grand Prix that earned them the right to play in the AWCC, insisted she wanted to help the team badly.
“Only in certain positions I feel the pain but it felt really good to be back,” she said. “I was just happy to contribute a little bit and try to pump the team up.”
“I really love these girls and I feel like they kinda look up to me so they look to me on the court for a little bit of inspiration and they feel more comfortable I think,” Stalzer added.
Foton Pilipinas dropped to fourth spot in Group E and will play against the winner of the match between defending champion Bangkok Glass of Thailand and Ba’yi Shenzheng of China on Friday.
But Stalzer, who had an MRI on Tuesday, is not yet sure whether she can play or not.
“It’s not like a hundred percent but it feels great,” she admitted. “It’s very scientific what the results are so I don’t know exactly but I think one of the disc is a little bit out of place.”
“I’m gonna see a doctor today so we’ll see what they say,” she added.