Jov Gonzaga vows to lead from the front as captain of SEA Games-bound PH team
Jov Gonzaga says she never expected to be named Philippine team captain. Mei-Lin Lozada

IT took a while before the thought finally sunk in for Jovelyn Gonzaga that she will be leading the Philippine women's volleyball team in the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore next month.

The pride of Sta. Teresa, Guimaras was informed by national coach Roger Gorayeb that she was chosen as the skipper during practice on Wednesday in front of her teammates.

In a star-studded cast that included Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santigo, Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Rachel Anne Daquis, Aby Maraño, Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, Jia Morado, Bea de Leon, Gretcel Soltones and  Denden Lazaro, Gonzaga said she didn't expect to get the captaincy.

"Hindi ko talaga ine-expect, so noong pagkasabi sa akin na shock talaga ako," Gonzaga shared to "Kahapon hindi pa nagsi-sink in sa akin na ako talaga kasi never ko talaga na-imagine."

[See Gorayeb names Gonzaga captain of SEAG-bound team]

Gonzaga will now be leading a team returning to the SEA Games after a 10-year absence. The last a team represented the Philippines in volleyball, it bagged a bronze medal in the 2005 Games in Manila.

The 23-year-old said pressure comes with the job, but seeing her teammates giving their hundred percent in training makes the Philippine Army mainstay at ease with the duty given to her.

"Siguro noong time na 'yun na pagkasabi sa akin, na-pressure ako," she admitted. "Pero ngayon naman, naisip ko it's not about me, it's about the team and lahat naman kami dedicated sa ginagawa namin, hindi kami nahihirapan kasi nagtatrabaho kami as a team."

The team will leave for Singapore on June 4.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada