IN the years that followed a successful volleyball career at De La Salle, Michelle Datuin tried her hand on a couple other jobs: coach of Poveda's grade school volleyball team, putting up a milk tea business, Tea Time, in Makati, and courtside reporter in Shakey's V-League matches.
Now Michelle is back doing what she does best.
Thanks to the birth of the Philippine Super Liga, Datuin, like several other former college volleyball stars, is savoring a new lease on life to her playing career which she thought was over after playing out her eligibility with De La Salle's Lady Spikers.
"Noong tapos na ako sa La Salle nag-try ako mag-coach, tapos nag-business din ako at nag-courtside reporter," said the 28-year-old spiker. "Pero parang babalik pa rin ako sa volleyball eh."
She's happier because of it.
Volleyball, after all, has been her life from the time she managed to get a serve across the net as a grade schooler trying out for a spot in Tunsuya Elementary School's volleyball team.
"Nayaya lang ako ng classmate ko noon, ang tryout lang pag naitawid mo 'yung bola sa service line, pasok ka na," recalled Datuin with a smile on her face as if everything just happened yesterday.
She didn't realize that that one serve will change her life forever.
Michelle's life has since been about volleyball, her career reaching its apex at De La Salle where she was part of the Lady Spikers team that ruled the UAAP championship in 2005, 2007 and 2009.
Years after those glory years, Michelle, who admitted she used to date PBA player Mac Baracael, didn't think twice when the opportunity to get back to competitive volleyball presented itself. She immediately grabbed an offer to play for Cignal HD.
"Two weeks before mag-start itong PSL, sinabihan ako," she said. "Masaya kasi itong profession na ito, itong sport naabutan ko pa bago pa magka-kalas kalas itong mga buto ko.
"At the end of the day sa volleyball pa rin."