PLAYING together like one family is so far the key to AirAsia's strong start in the Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference.
Familiarity with each other has netted the league newcomer big wins over heavyweights such as Cagayan Valley, 26-14, 25-19, 27-25, and back-to-back runner-up Cignal, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 15-11.
That the team is playing like a well-oiled machine is understandable.
The core of the Flying Spikers are composed of former La Salle stalwarts Aby Marano, Stephanie Mercado, Maureen Penetrante-Ouano, Wensh Tiu, Mika Esperanza, and team captain Cha Cruz, with Ramil De Jesus -- the man who steered the Lady Spikers to eight UAAP championships including two three-peat -- calling the shots from the bench
For Maraño, playing with people whom she’s already very familiar with makes it easy to play for the Flying Spikers despite being an expansion team in the country’s newest club volleyball league.
“Ang sarap sa feeling to play with former Lady Spikers,” she said. “Mako-continue namin 'yung bond namin as family.”
“Importante kasi sa team na magkakakilala na kayo, alam niyo na ang weakness and strength, mas madaling pakisamahan tapos may communication, kaya mas madali 'yung team work," added the former two-time UAAP MVP.
Although AirAsia is currently in solo first with a 2-0 slate, Maraño does not want to look far ahead.
“Enjoy lang muna kasi the more pressure you put, the more na mahihirapan kami makakilos, so relax lang,” she said.
Following its five-set victory over Cignal Wednesday, AirAsia takes an 18-day rest before facing back-to-back champion Generika-Army next.