BACARRA, Ilocos Norte – Cramps slightly spoiled Regine Arocha’s breakout performance for Choco Mucho in its four-set win over Petro Gazz in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.
The cramp-stricken Arocha played her best game so far as a Flying Titan, finishing with 12 kills for 13 points to help beat the Angels on Friday at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center.
“Siyempre masaya kasi alam kong nakatulong ako ngayon sa game namin. Kaso kinulang lang nung huli, hindi na kinaya talaga,” she said shortly after the game.
The Arellano standout shared she felt cramps since the start of the fourth set, but opted to continue playing as she helped give Choco Mucho a 22-20 advantage. But when Petro Gazz tied it at 23-all after Remy Palma’s hit, Arocha was finally taken out of the court.
“Pinipilit ko kasi siyempre gusto kong maglaro. Ayoko basta-bastang sumuko na lang, hangga’t kaya ko, gusto ko nilalaro ko pa talaga,” Arocha said. “So nung time na yun pagbagsak ko, hindi ko na talaga kaya. Sorry po sa inyong lahat di ko na talaga kinaya.”
Titan of the Day
Although her breakout game was dampened by cramps, Choco Mucho head coach Oliver Almadro lauded Arocha’s performance.
“Titan of the day. She proved herself na kahit na maliit siya, e, worthy siya dito sa professional league,” said Almadro. “So I really trust her and I really admire that kind of player na maliit man ako, kulang man ako sa height, gagawin ko yung trabaho ko.”
Almadro disclosed he’s been eyeing the 5-foot-7 outside hitter since her final playing year in the NCAA. But Arocha signed with Sta. Lucia when the league went through inactivity, before finally landing at Choco Mucho for the PVL bubble tournament.
“Noon pa lang, alam niya yan, noon pa lang. Pa-gradute pa lang siya nun sa Arellano, kinukuha ko na siya,” he said. “Kaya lang nauna siya sa Sta. Lucia, tapos nung natapos saka lang siya napunta dito. Pero dapat nung unang Choco Mucho pa lang nandito na yan, e.”
Although Arocha had a hard time adjusting with a new system, the two-time NCAA Finals MVP relishes her time under Almadro and with her Ateneo-loaded team.
“Nung una sobrang hirap pero habang tumatagal naman naka-adjust, na tsaka yung team kasi super nagtu-tulungan kaya pag nahihirapan andyan yung iba para turuan pag nagkakamali,” Arocha said. “Kaya madali lang din kami naka-adjust sa system ni coach O.”
Arocha is eager to contribute more as Choco Mucho faces Cherry Tigo in the best-of-three semifinals starting on Sunday.
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