JOVELYN Gonzaga had to let go her other love before heeding the call of the women’s national volleyball pool for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
After a two-year layoff due to ACL injury, where she missed the 2018 Asian Games Kuala Lumpur, Gonzaga was called up to be part of the women’s national beach volleyball pool for the SEAG with Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons as well as Dzi Gervacio.
But after playing impressively in a string of grueling matches for Cignal’s silver-medal finish in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino and for Pacifictown-Army in the ongoing Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, the veteran opposite spiker was recruited to be part of the indoor volleyball pool as several members have begged off.
“Nu’ng nag-approach sa akin sa indoor sabi ko kasi naka-commit na ako [sa beach volleyball],” said Gonzaga, who had to choose only one between the two sports.
“Sabi ko nga kung ano ang mas [mabuti] para sa akin go lang. as long as para sa bandera ng Pilipinas, okay ako wala akong problema dun,” she added.
With all due respect to beach volleyball head coach Paul Jan Dolorias, the national team mainstay let him decide.
Dolorias let go of Gonzaga in the beach volleyball team for her to join the women’s national volleyball pool.
“Na-settle naman na sa indoor ako magpo-focus,” Gonzaga shared. “Love ko pareho so kung ako papipillin mahihirapan talaga ako. Sobrang thankful ako kay coach Dolo for understanding my case. And sa indoor naman naiintindihan din nila.”
Now that she’s back to the national pool and has a chance to play her third SEAG stint, Gonzaga is tempering her expectations in fighting for a spot in the biennial meet that the Philippines is hosting from November 30 to December 10.
Her only mindset is to be committed to the country.
“Wala akong expectations kung ila-lineup pa ako sa final lineup or what,” Gonzaga said. “Basta nandito lang ako. Pupunta ako sa trainings kung pinapapapunta ako. One hundred percent, Magko-commit ako.”
Gonzaga is going to don the Philippines jersey again as part of the 16-woman team in the Southeast Asian Grand Prix in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand from September 20 to 22.
She and other PVL players will fly to Bangkok on Sept. 15 to catch up in the national team’s training camp.