PETRON pair Mika Reyes and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas have leapt to the defense of Roselle Baliton, who has been deluged with hate messages on social media after her inclusion in the 25-woman national pool.
After the announcement of the training pool for the national team, volleyball fans voiced their disgust on the decision to pick the less popular University of the East playmaker over Ateneo star setter Jia Morado.
Baliton shared in a previous interview that some fans sent hateful messages to her both on Twitter and through her personal phone number.
The 6’1 middle blocker-turned-setter, however, is not the first to be the subject of such massive criticism, as Reyes and Maizo-Pontillas can attest.
“Naaawa ako sa kanya kasi she doesn't deserve (na ma-bash),” said Reyes, who also drew flak when she was chosen to be one of the seven local players in the Philippine team to the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship last year.
Maizo, who became the center of controversy during the formation of the national team two years ago, also expressed her support to Baliton.
“Oo (naka-relate ako) sana ma-overcome niya ang mga nangyayari sa kanya,” said Maizo.
The former University of Santo Tomas star defended Baliton, explaining that it wasn’t her fault if she tried out and got in the pool.
“Naawa ako sa kanya kasi syempre nag-tryout lang naman siya, wala siya kasalanan na napasok siya (sa pool),” said Maizo, 29.
“Sobra na nagbabash (sa kanya) kaya sabi ko kawawa naman ang batang to, bata pa lang sobrang dami nang bashers,” she added.
Reyes offered some advice for Baliton on dealing with her critics.
“Ang masasabi ko na lang sa kanya, don't waste your time on them (bashers) kasi kung uubusin mo lang 'yung oras mo sa kanila, maii-stress ka lang,” she said.
“Be thankful na lang nag-uubos sila ng oras sa’yo,” Reyes added with a grin.