THE 17-day training camp in Japan not only helped national team skipper Mika Reyes physically but she also found inspiration from assistant coach Nene Ybanez-Chavez.
While the other players roomed together, the former La Salle star was assigned to Ybanez-Chavez, the 1993 Southeast Asian Games MVP.
“Ang dami niyang kinwento na mga experiences nila,” said Reyes. “Inspiring ang mga kwento niya.”
As the team implemented a strict no-phones, no-social media rule during their stay in Japan, everyone had the chance to get to know each other more without any distractions and Reyes said she was glad to have been assigned to room with Ybanez-Chavez.
“Masaya, masaya siyang roommate. Mukha siyang nakakatakot, mukha siyang strict pero hindi, hindi talaga,” shared Reyes.
“Like inside the court sobrang strict niya, lagi siyang pinupuna ang mga mali pero outside the court sobra siyang palabiro, sobra siyang makwento,” she added.
Ybanez-Chavez took the time to give Reyes a little pep talk, describing how difficult it was before the national team won a medal in the biennial meet.
Reyes said she has a better understanding of the situation now, and that they are in a much better position than the teams of the 90s particularly on the financial aspects.
“Syempre hindi ko naman pwedeng sabihin ang mga kinwento niya pero like dati sabihin na natin sa panahon niya hindi pa ganoon ka support siguro like wala pang sponsors,” said Reyes.
“Pero matagal na daw ’yun, ngayon daw nakikita na niya ang improvement,” she said.
“Ngayon andyan ang Rebisco, andyan ang LVPI na tumutulong talaga, si sir Peter Cayco and si (DFA) secretary Alan (Cayetano) nagpunta talaga doon sa Japan,” she added.