Her San Sebastian teammates have long finished dressing up but Thai import Jang Baulee was still in her game jersey, busy signing autographs and posing for souvenir shots with fans.
Filipino fans have come to love the Thai ace. And the feeling is mutual.
Baulee has been playing in the V-League for the past eight years that she feels right at home in the Philippines. She has grown to love the culture and has also picked up a few choice tagalog words along the way.
Most of all, she loves the fans.
“I always come back because of the fans. I like Filipinos, they are mabait,” said Baulee, smiling.
Baulee is one of a handful of V-League imports from Thailand, which has become the undisputed volleyball power in Southeast Asia. But Baulee has chosen to ply her trade here, even if there's a stark difference in how the game has progressed in the two countries.
“There are a lot of games in Thailand. They practice very hard. Here, konti lang. V-League, NCAA and UAAP only,” she said.
She won't reveal the compensation imports earn in the V-League, but she had no hesitation whatsoever when asked if she was willing to sign up for another tour of duty in the fast-growing local league in the future.
“I’ll be staying here until July. I’m not sure about the second conference but if someone invites me, I’ll come. But it’s not my decision,” she said.
Judging from her performance in the First Conference, she won't be lacking in takers.
The power-hitting Thai was named the MVP and Best Scorer of the First Conference, where she once scored 40 points in one game against Santo Tomas.
Her efforts fell short of leading the Stags to the title, but she wants to return for the V-League's second conference and get another shot at it.
Her fans would love that, too.