ISA Molde didn’t expect herself to be part of the Under-23 women’s national pool - let alone the team captain, but the coach thought there's no one better to not just be on the team, but the one leading it.
It was supposed to be a normal Friday for the University of the Philippines student-athlete as she didn’t get any messages or invites to the revealing of the pool in Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc.’s press conference backed by Rebisco.
A call from U-23 head coach Kungfu Reyes turned it to one of the days that Isa won’t forget.
“Hindi ko naman expected na makakasama ako kasi wala akong natanggap na text,” the fourth-year Lady Maroon told reporters. “Paligo na dapat ako para sa class tapos tumawag si coach Kungfu sabi niya, ‘Isa punta ka ba mamaya? Ikaw gagawin kong team captain ha?’”
Admitting that she was hesitant of accepting the great responsibility at first, Molde was so thankful for the trust of Reyes and bravely took the opportunity and huge responsibility being the Philippines’ Team Captain.
“Hindi ako makahindi kasi nahihiya naman ako humindi kay coach. Sabi ko, ‘sige po,’ the UAAP Season 78 rookie of the year said. “Hindi sa ayaw ko yung maging team captain pero wala na akong magawa si coach Kungfu na nagsabi.”
The U-23 Philippine women’s team was also unexpected to push through after all as the country missed the draw of the AVC U-23 championship last month.
But LVPI found away sending Molde and the U-23 team in the Southeast Asian Grand Prix, a four-nation home-and-away tournament featuring Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines that will unveil soon.
UP star Tots Carlos and UST’s rookie sensation Eya Laure, who are part of the women’s national pool for the Southeast Asian Games, will still join Molde in the U-23 pool
But as a leader, Molde is ready to take charge for her UP teammates Justine Dorog, Marist Layug and Roselyn Rosier, who also made it to the 23-woman pool as well as UAAP foes Judith Abil and Mean Mendrez of UE, Ivana Agudo, Buding Duremdes and Jeanette Villareal of FEU, Alina Bicar, MaFe Galanza, KC Galdones and Ysa Jimenez of UST.
Molde will also guide high school stars like UAAP girls’ MVP Angel Canino, Imee Hernandez, Justine Jazareno, Alleiah Malaluan, Faith Nisperos, Lyanne Marie De Guzman and Alexis Miner.
“Di ba pag team captain ka sobra yung expectations sayo? pero for sure naman pag nawork namin yung team sa under 23 magiging mas madali na for me to adjust,” Molde said. “Kung paano ko hinandle yung (UP) team na kasama si Caloy (Carlos). Lahat naman kami friends from different colleges lang. Magtutulungan naman kami para maayos yung team.”