JOVELYN Gonzaga is eigible to play for both Pacifictown-Army in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference and Cignal in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference.
Several volleyball fans were surprised when Gonzaga, suddenly, suited up for the HD Spikers in their All-Filipino debut, while her season with the Lady Troopers is on-going in the Reinforced Conference.
With the PSL having a one-league rule policy, Gonzaga, ranked as Corporal, explained that Army is her job and mother club so she had to play for the Lady Troopers in the PVL.
“Ang Army kasi trabaho ko talaga yun yung ineemphasize na job ko na yun so in-enlist ako sa Army dahil hindi ko pwedeng tanggalin yun sa akin,” Gonzaga said. “Doon talaga yung trabaho ko, nagseserve ka sa country, yun yung bottomline sa Army yung trabaho.”
The league officials gave the star opposite spiker the go signal to play in both leagues just like Jaja Santiago when she was playing for both National University and Foton.
“Ang nilaban kasi namin, si Jaja dati naglalaro sa NU kasi mother school niya yun. Si Jovelyn naman, mother unit niya is Army so wala siyang choice kundi maglaro siya sa Army,” said Cignal head coach Edgar Barroga. “Naka-line up siya sa amin so alam naman ng PSL yun, pinayagan naman.”
The Ilongga star is just grateful that all parties mutually agreed for her to play in both leagues.
“Sobrang thankful naman ako kasi naintindihan nila yung case ko. Sobrang supportive ng Army sa akin thankful ako doon and laking utang ng loob ko sa kanila,” Gonzaga said. “Yung Cignal naman kailangan ko bumawi from ilang years hindi ako naglaro.”
“Sa PSL talaga ako thankful kasi inintindi pinalawak nila yung understanding nila sa situation,” she added.
Now that she’s back for the HD Spikers two years after suffering an ACL injury in the 2017 Grand Prix, Gonzaga is elated to reunite with mainstays Rachel Anne Daquis, Mylene Paat, Mumay Vivas and Jheck Dionela and play with new comers Alohi Robins-Hardy, May Kuna and Norielle Ipac.
“New coaching staff, new teammates parang naeexcite ako sa level ng ilalaro ng team,” Gonzaga said. “Sobrang nakita naman natin yung improvement lalo na yung atake sa training sobrang iba, yung level of play, yung transitions play iba talaga”
“Natutuwa ako kasi ang teamwork sa loob ng court lumalabas talaga,” she added.
But playing for both leagues has disadvantages too as Gonzaga has to deal with everyday games from beating Sta. Lucia on Tuesday, she will play for Army on Wednesday against Creamline and will lead Cignal again on Thursday against PLDT.
“Pinaninidigan ko na lang pagiging bionic ilongga ko,” Gonzaga said sharing a laughter with the reporters. “Hindi namannnila ako masyadong binuburn out during training, may time ako magrest. Kung magpapaalam naman ako for recovery, pinapayagan naman nila ako. It’s a matter of teamwork din sa amin sa Cignal and sa Army.”